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E-M:/ a "rational" discussion of ground water?

Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>

I think what is missing from a "rational" discussion, is the fact
that ground water takes literally thousands of years to establish
itself and can rapidly be depleted with excessive use.

In short, there should be a uniform state law on how much can be
used per year, based on geologic surveys as to the reserves and
what percentage of the reserves should be maintained at all times.

There should also be some rational priorities established, as to
which users should have first priority.

I should think farm food production and the people who live near
that farm food production would be in the first priority category,
with an equitable sharing while maintaining at all times, a certain
percentage of the reserves.

It would be a simple matter to meter well use, just as urban
water usage is metered. Since Nature and not private enterprise,
is providing the water, I see no rational for not allowing ground
water to remain free but the abuse by non-essential industries
should be curbed.

There is probably a rub in determining which are non-essential
industries but we certainly can live without bottled water
and other such products, derived from our ground water reserves.

For those industries which may be excluded from using the ground
water reserves, there is always the Great Lakes which do not
present nearly as great a reserve problem, as lakes are replenished
much more rapidly by rain and snow, compared with ground water.

That is not to say there should not also be similar quotas for
the Great Lakes but that is another discussion.

In essence, the main point of this discussion should be:

what percentage of ground water reserves should be maintained
at all times to prevent a crisis, and from there, determine an
equitable distribution to those uses that are deemed to be
essential for society.

Lowell Prag

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