Friday, June 05, 2015

Poll: Water Conservation In Eureka

I was going back and forth with Kevin Hoover over at the Mad River Union again yesterday. This time over recent state water conservation mandates that are sure to affect us up here to at least some degree.

I say there's no need for those of us getting water from the Mad River/ Ruth Lake to conserve as it's known we could last up to three years with the water currently in the Lake. As with last time we had at it, Kevin seems to take to government's position. Well, not exactly arguing for that position but essentially saying I don't know what I'm talking about.

But he's not the only one I've heard such things from. I've ran into all kinds of people who have told me they're cutting back water use because of the drought. Even after explaining we have plenty of water in Eureka, they seem very unsure about using any more water than they absolutely have to. Truth be told, I've done the same sort of thing- not planting any vegetables, for instance- in the spirit of conservation, although I know there's plenty of water for that sort of thing.

So I thought I'd post a poll on the subject. If you answer Yes, I hope you'll explain in the comments why you think we need conserve water when water we don't use will just run out to the ocean (I know. That makes it a loaded question.). The poll only applies to those of us who get water from the Mad River, not those using the Eel River or wells.

Actually, I made the poll yesterday. Looking at the wording, it should probably read "Need we conserve water in the greater Eureka area?"

Should we conserve water in the greater Eureka area?

Free polls from


At 8:49 AM, Blogger Evie Gustafson said...

Fred, I agree that there are other ways of cutting back on water usage. Don't wash your car, don't water your lawn, don't plant a garden and don't go to golf courses. It's easy to say other people will cut back, but the evidence shows otherwise. I think our water is a fine blend of Mad River and reservoir so we are already using Ruth lake water. Everyone needs to do a little, but enforced restrictions on the average guy is always the way they go.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

You're probably misunderstanding me. I don't have a problem with conservation measures, even mandatory ones, in places that have real water problems. We don't.

We have a surplus of something like 50 million(?) gallons a day, at least those of us who get water from the Mad River. There's no reason not to water lawns or even golf courses with the water we have available. Water we don't use simply ends up going out into the ocean where it really is lost for human purposes, at least until it comes back as rain or snow.

And water we use isn't gone forever or "wasted" as some might suggest. Water we use in the house is sent to treatment plants where it's treated and sent back to the ocean. Water used outside generally ends up evaporating back to the atmosphere to come back as rain or snow later. It's not like using gasoline where once you burn it, it's gone.

I say if you have the water to use, use it. But our house is probably below average in water use. I try to limit myself to one shower a week, and we've been only flushing the toilet when necessary for ten years or more. We started doing that more for saving money, but I also don't like "wasting" water.

I'm not sure how it would work up here, but cutting back on water can raise your water bill, too. That's what happened down in Mendo and Sonoma Counties. People scrimped and saved water the last few years because of the drought, only to see their water bills go up because people weren't using enough water.

That's in part the reason our water bills took a jump some years ago. Evergreen Pulp shut down and they were the major water customer- subsidizing everyone else's water costs. Once they were gone, households had to make up the difference.

Up here, we have plenty of water. I say use it, or lose the ocean.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Evie Gustafson said...

I agree with everything you say, Fred. I don't see where we can cut back anymore as we have always tried to get that bill lower. It keeps going up and it will keep going up. They lost a huge chunk of money when the pulp mill closed, but they didn't lose the water. Will they be forced to sell the excess water to SoCal? Your right Fred. It is all Back-ass-ward thinking,

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I think some of the conservation suggestions/demands are over the top, this is a good chance for everybody to aim at using less water. Every drop we don't use gets to be left in the river, or lake, for the fish and wildlife. Gotta have deep, cool water for the migrations. In our towns there are plenty of modern upgrades, like lower flow shower heads and faucets, that should be made. Plus, plenty of leaks, and leaky faucets and toilets, that should be fixed. It was very dry last year, and being prepared for the next time we have a year like that would be a good idea. As for your "updated" version of the question, the response is "Yes, we need to conserve water, in reflection of wasteful ways of the past."
My problem with the "mandatory savings" is that I've had low flow taps and showers for many years. The mandatory savings programs do not take into account such things that have been done like that: only that things change from the last couple years to today. Ugh.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

" Every drop we don't use gets to be left in the river, or lake, for the fish and wildlife."

In some cases that's true, but the water Eureka and the surrounding area gets from the Mad River comes from just a few miles up river from the ocean. Not too much further downstream and it becomes salt water which can't be used by anyone.

I'm sure you'll point out that oceans need water too. As I've already pointed out, the water we do use ends up in the atmosphere or ocean eventually. And if you're a Believer (global warming) the oceans are going to have so much water they're going to swamp the inland areas anyway, so not much to worry about in that regard as far as oceans needing more water.

I thank you for your opposing opinion, though. At least you can argue your point. The others that voted Yes I'll just chalk up to knee jerk environmentalism since they didn't seem to be able to come up with a reason for voting that we need to conserve water.


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