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For the week of May 2 through May 8, 2001

High and dry

Californians learned the bitter lesson of being caught in the dark, literally and figuratively.

They awoke one day to be told thereís a shortage of electricity that surely will chasten their devil-may-care lifestyle.

Although the Wood River Valley generally is isolated from shortages of lifeís necessities, itís not too early to consider whether our water supplies are shrinking and thus imposing prudence in our habits.

Blaine is one of six counties, including Butte, Lincoln, Elmore, Bonneville and Canyon, designated as facing a drought emergency this summer. And, despite the mountainous scenery, the Wood River Valley area is arid, with scant annual rainfall as well as risks of periodic reduced snowpacks.

Even though common sense suggests certain water conservation measures, the whole valley would be well served if community policymakers with a grasp of water supply and demand, created a water conservation program.

It could include monthly statistics on probable available supply, an index of what an average household uses monthly, a list of the average consumption of various activities (washing a car, irrigating a lawn, showering, flushing a toilet, washing a load of laundry, etc.) and a set of suggested goals for reducing valley consumption.

Compliance would be voluntary. But communities at least would be forewarned about possible shortages and how supplies can be stretched through acts of homeowners and businesses to avoid mandatory water savings measures.

Meanwhile, Hailey started rationing its water this week for lawn watering.



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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.