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Water agreement could dry up the well
by Larry Wilson
Sep 15, 2008 | 417 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Recently, the powers that be signed a new water use agreement for the Lake Tahoe watershed. Essentially, what they signed 100 years ago would have been called a treaty, but now it’s called a compact. I always thought a compact was what a lady carried in her purse to de-shine her nose with, but I digress. All the necessary mucky-mucks from Washington, D. C. were on hand to sign with the official signature and make sure this document was not only authentic, but carried the blessing of the Congress as well.

Every entity wanted their acre foot of water this time instead of their pound of flesh. Now I mentioned compact; well, I don’t know how compact this deal is as I’m sure it runs in the hundreds of pages long. That’s probably so that we common folks can’t read it and it will take a team of crack New York lawyers making top dollar per diem to decipher it for us should the need arise and I’m sure it will.

Due to its complexity you can almost bet it is going to end up in some court for some reason or other before it’s all over. You can take that to the bank along with those fat checks the New York lawyers will be depositing.

I can remember when I was a kid we could run through the sprinkler any day of the week. Maybe that can be called “hand” watering and I guess that practice is still OK on any day of the week to help establish new lawns. The powers that be have already forced us into water meters and recently wanted to sell off the Truckee Meadows Water Authority to a private company until the hue and cry went up from the populace that woke up to the fact that this “private” company could up our water rates overnight to insure they made their pound of flesh off of us working stiffs. In the process, maybe it would make it cheaper to down a gallon of gasoline than a gallon of H2O. That program was scuttled like a bad dream, but the scary part is that the governmental agencies were actually considering doing that to raise more revenues for the governmental coffers – you know, pay raises and bonuses and all that boring stuff.

I can remember when I was a kid working in a gas station, one of my first duties every morning – weather permitting, of course – was to hose down the entire driveway of the filling station. When’s the last time you’ve seen them doing that now? They don’t. Likewise, I used to hose off my driveway once in a while. It’s been years since I last did that job.

I know that my water usage has really been curtailed in recent years with little pain as a result. I still bathe regularly, etc., but overall, I’ve cut back on my water usage. I’m sure most households have undergone much the same metamorphosis as to water use as we have, but what I’d like to know is how much more water are we going to find in our lakes and rivers as a result of this new “treaty?” Or are we going to see more people moving into new homes and adding to our traffic congestion as a result of this recent action regarding our water supply? Keep your bottled water handy on your daily commute, sports fans.

Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at
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