Letter: Water reserves


Let’s apply simple math to our water issue. Our water experts know the following: An estimate of the amount of water in our wells and aquifers (A). From 50 years of historical records, on average how much water/snow annually replenishes our aquifers/wells (B). From our water bills, they know how much water we consume annually (C). Calculate A + B – C and we get D, the amount of reserve water.

They know how many water consumers there are (E). They can calculate the average annual use by dividing C, total water consumed by E, number of water consumers to get F. F tells us that a “home” on average uses say 40,000 gallons a year. If we divide our total annual reserve D by the average annual usage, 40,000 gallons, we know approximately how many new “homes” can be built before we go negative in terms of our water resources. For example, let’s say we have 500 million gallons of reserve water.

If the average “home” uses 40,000 gallons a year that means 12,500 new “homes” that can be added to our city given our current reserves. The 12,501st “home” will result in consuming more than our annual reserves. I would ask the water experts to provide our community with the factual numbers for the above math. Given the known reserves of water today, how many “homes” can be added before we begin over consuming our annual reserves, i.e. going negative? They know the numbers. The math is easy. If the water experts are unwilling to provide these numbers, we can assume that we are already in trouble.

William Von Rohr