Skip to comments.Regulating Water
Posted on 01/29/2011 7:44:41 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The recipe for regulatory tyranny is simple. Identify something basic, like air or water. Suggest the existence of a crisis. Call for sweeping regulation to address the purported crisis.
For the left, the regulation of something as basic as water holds great appeal. Every home, every industry, every school and office uses large quantities of water as part of production, sanitation, heating and cooling, and other functions. If government can control water use, it can control much of our lives.
Water usage, for example, was the EPA pretext for the 2009 ban on mountaintop mining, in which natural mining debris (earth and vegetation, for example) are moved from mountaintops to adjacent valleys. Arguing that such mining kills aquatic life in streams, EPA Director Lisa Jackson announced rules in April 2009 that makes it difficult to continue mountaintop mining. There are no or few valley fills that meet standards like this, said Ms. Jackson.
Having dealt with the bogeyman of mountaintop mining, Obamas eco-police moved on to Western water usage. In the case of farmers in Californias Central Valley, environmentalists argued for protection of the delta smelt under the Endangered Species Act. By placing the interests of a tiny minnow above that of people, a federal court placed half of Americas fruit and vegetable production at risk, threw 37,000 people out of work, and threatened the businesses of thousands of farm owners.
Its the same thing in the environmental assault on Canadian oil sands and on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from the sands to the U.S., a vital project which has been challenged by environmental pressure on the U.S. State Department. Unable to block oil sands development by other means, environmentalists have charged that oil sands development is polluting the Athabasca River basin in Alberta and, failing that, that the pipeline to transport oil sands production to the U.S. is environmentally unsound.
Water use rules have also become a potent weapon in the environmental assault on hydraulic fracturing, the most promising new front in natural gas drilling in a century. Since natural gas cannot be faulted on the basis of carbon emissionsit is twice as clean as oil, cleaner even than corn ethanolthe left has gone after fracing on the specious ground that fracing requires the use of large quantities of water and that fracing chemicals, despite little or no evidence to the contrary, may pollute groundwater.
It does take a lot of water to engage in hydraulic fracturing. It also takes a lot of water to operate nuclear plants, hydroelectric plants, and manufacture wind turbines and solar panels. If there are adequate supplies of water available, who cares?
As for fracing chemicals and groundwater, fracing takes place thousands of feet beneath the surface, separated by vast layers of rock and sediment from groundwater basins. It is unlikely that fracing chemicals could migrate through these layers to pollute groundwater. And to my knowledge there is no hard evidence to support this claim.
Its not just agriculture and energy thats at stake. The left has its sights on your bathroom, too. Having already banned the manufacture of incandescent bulbs starting in 2012, the government has tightened DOE regulation on showerhead water flow as well.
For nearly two decades, luxury multi-head shower fixtures have been sold in the U.S. on the assumption that each head, counted separately, meets the 2.5 gallons per minute standard already in place. One of Secretary Steven Chus early initiatives was to direct that the water flow of multi-head fixtures be counted as a single showerhead, thus totally altering the standard for luxury fixtures. Those who require a therapeutic shower massage for health reasons or those who simply enjoy a luxury shower are now out of luck.
It would stand to reason that those who are wasting water are also paying for it on their monthly water bill. And if they are willing to pay for it, it would seem fair that they should have it. They obviously believe that the benefit of a shower massage, whether for health reasons or simply for enjoyment, outweighs the cost. But the ecology fanatics in the Obama administration do not believe you have a right to a therapeutic shower massage.
It would certainly appear that Mr. Chu does not. He seems to think that government can, and should, step into your home, figuratively speaking, and rip those luxury showerheads right out of your bath. The same for incandescent light bulbs, woodstoves, toilets, kitchen appliances, windows and doors, and attic insulation. And before you sell your home, he seems to think you should be required to upgrade the home to meet energy efficiency standards, whether you can afford to or not.
For control freaks like this, there are no limits to new regulation. The goal is to regulate and restrict the movement of every American every moment of the day and night.
Michigan is a real problem for the water grabbers. I personally think the overtaxation and overregulation are an intentional means of driving us out.
At one time, there was talk of billing people for using the water in their private wells. They already bill companies for sewage from rain runoff (calculated based of the square footage of their roof).
“Michigan is a real problem for the water grabbers. I personally think the overtaxation and overregulation are an intentional means of driving us out.”
The UN Agenda 21. Our bureaucrats and the UN are of one mind. It goes deeper than our elections.
The move to meter, then regulate well water use is gearing up in Washington State. (Its for salmon, you know)
A couple years ago I caught some clown measuring the distance between my well and the lakeshore where I live. He said he was conducting a survey of how much groundwater was being drawn from boundry margins around waterways.
He then wanted to know if I water my lawn, how many bathrooms, showers, sinks etc. About then I decided it was time for him to go.
We also have the Raisin river land trust keeping tabs on everyone along the river. They come by in kayaks a couple times per year to take notes and pictures to document what we do along the shore.
Advanced Alinski-ism. I'll bet Hillary wrote about this in her graduate thesis. Bet she got an A too!
Yeah, I saw an agenda 21 map that showed the great lakes basin as a vast World Heritage park.
The Great Smokey Mountian National Park is now an “international Biosfphere”
On the sign at main office.
There have been a few glimmers of sanity in that area:
“DENVER One new law set to take effect Wednesday [July 1, 2009] will allow Colorado homeowners to collect rainwater, if they can prove they’re not infringing on other water users’ rights. That’s right, rainwater. It will be legal for homeowners to use rainwater for fire protection, animals, irrigation and household use.” — Monday, June 29, 2009
When I was in Michigan’s upper peninsula a couple years ago I read some literature about the future of the parks. The would like to see the national parks closed to private vehicle traffic and visitors could ride shuttles.
I told the park ranger that it would be enough to make sure I never returned. He admitted that it was very likely the true goal.
Great post and great thread. Where do totalitarians stop?
Life, liberty and the pursuit and destruction of totalitarians.
Here in FloriDUH, the Possum Police, A.K.A. Game Commission, has ‘partnered’ with the Feddies to push another billion buck boondoggle.
One justification is to prevent desertification!
And, no participant member of the public is allowed to mention that anthropogenic global warming may not be true.
Sez so right on their website.
Unfortunately, water is a critical issue, especially in the west where farmers and communities and environmentalists are all fighting over it. In other countries it is much worse and will probably result in vicious wars in the next decades.
In addition, the "endangerment" needs to be increased exponentially day-by-day.
Otherwise, the Nation itself will never be able to be removed from it's #1 position on the endangered-species list.
I live about five miles south of the UP/Wi. border and like to play in those parks. I hope what he said is wrong, but the left is bent on just that kind of control.
The insanity of it all is that they say rain water has to go into the ground to recharge the aquifer and capturing it is illegal. But, if someone collects rain water and uses it on their garden or lawn it is going back into the same ground.
I like to ask them the question, "When God gives us the rain from the clouds where exactly do you take posession of it?"
We are supposed to register and then ask permission if we want to use the water in our ponds and creek. We are also supposed to have a permit for use of our springs. The only water left that they do not totally control is the wells. But you must have a permit to drill it and file it with the county.
The Oregon legislature brings up a bill every session to put meters on our wells, for now it has been shot down.
Little by little someone has to start putting a halt to this environmental nonsense.
Something else more people should be aware of is explained HERE.
They probably want all of your rainwater to run into the Columbia and Colorado Rivers to quench the thirsts of the libs in the big cities.
I thought that under the legal “realty of property” razzle-dazzle, the water that fell onto your property was yours. You get first crack. If it runs off your property, you’re out of luck.
Maybe they should just put the water on the free market. Whoever is the highest bidder gets the water. If that happens to be environMENTALists, so be it.
The populations in desert northern Africa are going to have a hard time bidding on water from the Amazon. On the other hand there is already a lot of power water politics happening in our own southwest.
It is (was?) different in Colorado, Kansas, I forget where else. It goes back to legal issues for that area going back to the 1800’s.
But recent reliable science proves that the water falling on your ground hundreds or even tens of miles away from the Colorado River, for example, never has a chance to make it there, which is used in support of the change to the law.
This is not accurate, Hortonian overland flow from storm run off directly to the riparian environment where infiltration and recharge can happen is a lot different than capture and use by a residence.
Especially if the residence uses the water to irrigate plants/lawns which will though evapo-transpiration lose up to 80% of it to the atmosphere. As such the majority of this water will not enter the capillary zone let alone recharge the subsurface water table. Yes for those curious as a mater of fact I am a Geoscientist where applied hydrology is a required field of study at the graduate level as is fluvial geomorphology. The western states are entirely right to limit rain capture as this directly affects not only subsurface water levels it also affects the limnology of the whole watershed.
Residential capture is almost always consumptive use with the water lost to ET via plants, and evaporation from pools and water features little enters the recharge zone let alone the riparian environment it would have normally run off too.
It troubles me to think the wackos who are taking control of our lives might be right on this one. I wonder how much damage the people collecting water up her in the fairly rainy Pacific North West are doing.
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