Wow. I’m out of shape for writing like this after what — a month off more or less? I finished the last category of books yesterday and this morning Facebook told me that on this day, last year, I finished my books for 2021. Like the crocus in my garden, the Sandhill Cranes on the wing, Teddy at 8 pm when he thinks it’s time to jump on my bed, and Bear at 9 pm when she wants a cookie — I’m a clock.
As has happened so many times this winter, snow is in the forecast, but not enough to make a dent in our scary arid conditions. I remember other winters when there WAS snow, and in 2019 there was so much that the Rio Grande flooded. So maybe next year. I hope.
A fast growing, affluent county north east of here, south of Denver, Douglas County, has proposed to buy our water. It’s a hotly contested proposal, and I don’t think it’s going to, uh, wash (ha ha). In the first place, the San Luis Valley doesn’t have any water to sell and most of the people and organizations down here have dug in their heels. BUT Douglas County has offered a sizable amount of money (it appears so, anyway, though it isn’t) and some people are motivated by money. Even our execrable congress twit has come out against it — more to improve her re-election chances than because she knows anything about it.
Based on the hydrologic situation of the Valley, “RWR’s project would place undue risks on San Luis Valley (SLV) water users and ratepayers (water customers) in Douglas County.” Harmon points out that “All of the layers [of the SLV aquifer system] are hydrologically connected with each other and also, at many points, the aquifer system is connected to surface streams. Thus when you pump the aquifer at one point, it can affect other locations many miles away.”
The result? “Potential long-term effects, poorly understood now due to the limitations of our scientific knowledge, may crop up as injury many years in the future…. If any of these unintended consequences eventually causes injury or increases costs, who bears the burden? Higher-than-planned pumping, treatment, storage, or conveyance costs would likely be borne by ratepayers in Douglas County. Other long-term impacts of RWR, such as land subsidence or excessive drawdown, would be borne by the SLV community.”
Read the full op-ed: https://www.protectsanluisvalleywater.com/…/3ee89d…#StopWaterExport#ProtectSLVWater
In other news? If you want to see beautiful photos of cranes, here’s your opportunity: Monte Vista Crane Festival Group. It’s a public Facebook group which means you don’t have to be a Facebook person to see the photos. I will say it is a very heart-warming “place” to visit from time to time. People feel a warmth toward Sandhill Cranes that seems to transcend all of our human bullshit. Cranes have the power to bring out the best in people. ❤