Q. I’ve been looking for ways to save water, and have some ideas to share with your readers. Most people think their water bill pays for water, but it doesn’t, really; it pays for the water company’s cost of service. Our fresh water is disappearing. I’m very concerned. I hate to see so much lawn sprinkling — it’s such a waste of our dwindling resource. Without clean water, we perish. Using synthetic turf keeps a nice-looking lawn, year-round, with no watering. Installing low-flow toilets and turning off the water when soaping up at the sink or in the shower save many gallons a day. Collecting rainwater in large barrels, such as those offered by towns and villages, with a water spigot for rain collection, helps keep plants watered. Some people put in low-maintenance ground cover instead of lawns or rock gardens. There are many more extreme ideas. Perhaps you could comment on them.
A. Water has become a great focus of government since legislation passed in the last few years dedicating over a trillion dollars to water cleanup, treatment plant and piping infrastructure, and methods to desalinate. You’re right to be concerned, since our water supply is our lifeblood and we often take it for granted. Unfortunately, we’re a society of knee-jerk reactors who rarely plan ahead, often even making fun of the first expert to say something that later becomes obvious.
Global warming, whatever you believe causes it, is very real and too big a problem for us to ignore. For the past three decades, the political ostriches, with their heads in the sand, have made such a fuss about how wrong the scientists were who first began announcing the dangers. I imagine there are many who will read this and feel the same way about water, but it won’t change facts, only opinion. Fortunately, the eastern part of the U.S. has more rainfall generally, and our droughts aren’t as prolonged or severe. And I applaud the Town of Hempstead for the recycle and e-cycle programs that keep dangerous chemicals out of our groundwater. They also offer rain barrels, and have been environmentally proactive.