We must solve water issues while there’s still some left

Jim Lee

Guess what: We’re running out of water.
That’s no huge news flash, but maybe we should remind ourselves about it from time to time. Oh, we probably won’t go dry in the next nine minutes, but things like this need planning and advance work. If we wait till the last drop comes into view, we will be in a world of hurt.
On top of staying aware of the exponentially escalating problem, we have to take responsibility for our own welfare. We can’t just sit around and wait for somebody else to handle the situation. No big corporation will prevent the crisis. No politician will make things all better.
If we expect the government to remedy the issue, we have to realize once and for all that we are the government. The politicians are not the government; they are the employees, employees who are in the ticklish situation of trying to figure out what their bosses want them to do.
If we truly expect the water situation (or any other public crisis) to be positively resolved, we have to do it ourselves, my friends. There is no magic wand unless we construct it and wave it ourselves. We must make our views known to the people who represent us in the wielding of political authority.
And we cannot do this without becoming involved. It is unfair to expect our elected and appointed representatives to come up with all the answers. Keep in mind that old and nearly forgotten title “public servant.”
We have all heard about possible solutions, such as the plan to bring water down from Ute Lake. But I have a million questions:
What happens if the lake goes dry? What about water rationing and other conservation measures? When (if ever) will the drought end? Is it wise to encourage people to relocate to Portales or bring in new business if the water is running out? Then again, we need new residents to remain a vital community and new businesses to spike the economy and boost job growth. Do we have a catch-22 going here?
I refuse to accept the catch-22 excuse. Simply put, that is just giving up. Doggone it, giving up is downright un-American in my humble opinion.
No, this does not mean I have the answers to the above questions. Nor does it mean answers will always elude us. Remember, the most difficult and important part of finding answers is coming up with the right questions. I think we have a good start on that.
As a community we need to brainstorm possible solutions and give them to our elected representatives: city, county, and state. Sure, volumes of instantly generated ideas will contain many impossibilities and more than one harebrained scheme.
So what? The bigger the volume, the more likely good ideas will crop up with the bad, simply a matter of numbers. Besides, any idea beats no idea.
A number of workable ideas about water have been proposed. Finding new ideas does not negate that. It simply means we got involved and tried to contribute to the solution. Who knows, maybe the best idea is one nobody has thought of yet.
Give it a shot. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Jim Lee is news director for KENW-FM radio. He also is an English instructor. He can be contacted at 359-2204. His e-mail: