Squeezed between need and greed


We’d better wake up to the realization that we are faced with very real and serious water issues. As of this writing, the precious Colorado River is at the very top of the endangered waterway list, with nine others following. The Colorado River is drained of nearly every drop by the time it reaches Mexico, moving through seven western states and serving 40 million people on its way. Our rivers provide diverse and ongoing benefits, including water supplies for agriculture, people and wildlife, outdoor recreation, clean energy generation and unparalleled ecosystems. There is simply not enough to meet the demand.

And what size is the threat here in the Four Corners to our rivers, reservoirs and aquifers through overuse, drilling, drought and pollution?

There is no disputing that we all need gas and oil in order to manage our lives, but how much, and at what cost to our local water supplies and environment? And with the trillions of dollars being made off the raping and pillaging of pristine lands everywhere, allowing for the consequences of lying and ruin to be cheap enough to pay, we feel squeezed between need and greed. At what moment in time do we begin to take the issue of water most seriously and choose to speak up, get up, and do something, anything, to protect our collective aquifers, waterways and reservoirs from becoming yet another issue for more costly crisis management! We cannot drink oil, and with it taking 7 million gallons of water to drill one well, where will that water come from? No life form can drink polluted water and stay healthy for very long. Choices are becoming more difficult to make.

What may well be the “do or die” decision as to what direction to take at the approaching crossroad is now the collective responsibility of all of us to realize the bottom line. We must not allow for a crisis before we recognize oil, gas, CO2 and mining are for the economy, but water is for life, yours, mine and everything else.

Sheila Wheeler