Water is precious. Don’t waste it. {Editor’s Column}

Niki Turnera

If drought teaches us anything at all it should teach us the critical value of water.

Apparently Meeker residents aren’t learning the lesson. We’ve used more water in the last six weeks than ever before in the recorded history of Meeker water usage. When conditions are as dry and drastic as they are, that’s not something to be proud of.

Half of my 28 years of marriage has involved having a cistern and a father with a tape measure who was sure to let us know exactly how much water we consumed every month, and that using excess water meant spending extra money and extra time. We started practicing water conservation early on in our marriage: don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth; don’t let the water run while rinsing the dishes; don’t run laundry or the dishwasher unless it’s a full load; don’t water the lawn during the heat of the day when most of the water evaporates anyway; five minute showers; bathtubs filled no deeper than three inches for the kids; and the infamous “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down” toilet theology that freaks people out.

In my opinion, we, as a society in general, and as a local culture specifically, are sloppy about our water consumption. Why? Because it’s still cheap. Our water rates are ridiculously low in comparison to our neighbors. Rangely charges more for water than Meeker does. I think because our water rates are so low it’s easy for us to justify overuse.

We need to examine our water consumption and consider our behaviors. Water is a finite resource. Wasting it is stupid. The more people who practice water conservation, the better, regardless of your politics or your location. When you’re limited to a cistern, you learn the value of practicing water conservation, and those principles carry over to a well and to town water. Water is precious. Don’t waste it.