• Water Lovers, Unite!

    During the current city-election cycle, we’ve seen forums about crime, jobs, wages, housing, infill, annexation, keeping Santa Fe beautiful, and getting us back to the good old days. No, sorry. Not those days of flood irrigation and apple orchards. You know—the more-recent times when art galleries overflowed with compulsive tourists craving our blue-sky and green-chile hospitality.

    All of these debate topics represent important subjects for community-wide discussion, but ultimately each is trumped by Maude Barlow’s notion of a “water-secure future.” Barlow, the senior adviser on water to the president of the United Nations General Assembly, will be speaking at the Lensic Theater, on Wednesday, February 17. Especially since the implementation of NAFTA, people all over the world have had their water, their life blood, taken away from them by large corporations and their bought-off governmental agents. Along with Peter Gleik, Vandana Shiva, Oscar Oliviera and 99% of the human race, Barlow aims to stop the handful of huge companies taking advantage of the pollution and scarcity that plague countless human communities.

    Water security will also be the topic of a Santa Fe city-candidate forum on Tuesday, February 9, from 7pm to 9pm. Everyone running for mayor and city council is scheduled to answer questions about rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, water conservation, and how to integrate these productive techniques in a way that promotes green-collar job growth.

    We, the people, of Santa Fe fortunately were smart enough to purchase the Sangre de Cristo Water Company from PNM (just before NAFTA was enacted). Subsequently, we don’t face the danger that many places face where water is blatantly auctioned off to the highest bidder. But anyone who has lived here for more than a week know that our water supply is far from secure. The math is simple: Our economy requires growth, and our aquifers and rivers can provide only a limited supply of water for this growth.

    The organizers of the candidate forum, a relatively new local group called the Semi-Arid Guild, understand that there is a solution to this world-wide dilemma where economies dry up watersheds and desiccated watersheds destroy economies. The answer is falling from the sky in the form of precipitation and being flushed down the drain in the form of “waste.”

    With the support of government at every level, we can create jobs in water harvesting and wastewater treatment/recycling. But, like the efforts of Barlow and her “water-warrior” colleagues, political efforts still need to be made. Otherwise, at the very least, the inertia of bureaucracy will keep progress at too slow a pace, conventional resources will disappear, and we will be too late.

    If you care about the future of Santa Fe at the most basic level, please attend either of these events. Thanks to the Lannan Foundation, seats for the Barlow talk are only six bucks. Go to www.lensic.com or call 988-1234 for tix. The Semi-Arid Guild’s forum at the Inn of the Governors is free. For more information about either event, please visit my new blog at http://backyarddigest.blogspot.com.


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The final frontier.

These are the musings of an engaging enterprise.
Its thirty-year mission:

To create a greener planet.

To seek a better life in our lumbering civilization, and

to slowly go where we are all are headed anyway.


Is an unproven system for generating wide-spread sustainability.

it asks for 10 minutes a day for a year. At the end of the year, it asks for 10 more.

So in the second year, you spend just 20 minutes a day, in the third year, 30 minutes.

If you keep up this pattern, 27 years later you spend over 4 hours per day being extremely green.

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Describe your attempts At a sustainable life.