It’s All About Water

What’s all this about water? Why is a health columnist so worried about our water supply? We’ve got plenty of water in NH. Just take any hike and you’ll probably have some brook to contend with. Isn’t health about eating three squares and getting enough exercise, making some friends, and breathing diaphragmatically?

 Keeping well involves all of the above and more, but it begins with drinking enough safe water. It may seem needless to be alarmed at what’s happening to lake Mead and LakePowell; they’re out west, but I like to think we can learn from what happens out west so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes here in the northeast. Mead’s at 40  percent capacity and could cease being able to generate electrical energy by 2013, much less provide the area with adequate drinking water.

 Large dams cause people to relocate and businesses to develop below the dam which continue to depend on the dam after it has exhausted the environment.

 The Klamath Basin Restoration Project in Oregon involves dismantling old dams and restoring the river areas. The cost to repair a dam is 2-5 times the cost of original construction, something Pacific Corp is not interested in doing. The AP reports that “some farmers, conservation groups and Indian tribes in the basin support dam removal as part of a larger plan to solve a century of conflicts over sharing scarce water between fish and farms.” History we can learn from.

 While we have been assured that Hydro Quebec is not interested in damming up our rivers in the distant future, please note that HQ  already owns a dam on the Connecticut in Stewartstown, NH. The James Bay Project completed 3 dams by 1984 and already reports decreases in the reservoirs behind those dams (30 years later), as HQ continues to build more dams moving on down through the Rupert.  40-50 years from now, depending on the rate of global warming,  HQ may have a new agenda that includes NH rivers.

 Our goal is to continue to have accessible drinking water. There may be as much water in the world today as there ever was,  but much of it is polluted and desalinization purification systems are both costly and high energy consumers. Now, more than ever, we need to protect all rivers and refuse to support new hydroelectric power that we now know outlives its usefulness in 80 years or less.

 Now is the time to dream up sustainable innovative ways of producing/utilizing energy. How can we harness the energy people generate in gyms: spinning, treadmilling, weight lifting, swimming,…?

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