Water . . . continued

Photo of canal in Hadley, MAPhoto of pond in Granby, Massachusetts

Photos: (1) Urban canal in Holyoke, MA (2) Aldrich Lake in Granby, MA.




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Managing our water resources sustainably . . . cont'd.

The current debates over the potential impacts of proposed new power plants and industrial facilities using the Connecticut and other rivers for cooling water are the latest chapter in the arguments over competing uses of this shared resource. (For more on this, go to the Connecticut River Watershed Council's website at www.ctriver.org .)

As population pressures, agricultural and industrial demand for water, and an increasingly unpredictable climate place stress on the region's water systems, the need for wise water management will only grow. That wise approach will need to take the long view, both up, and down, the river, as it were.

Beyond that, in a world of drought and global warming, we may find ourselves sitting atop an increasingly valuable resource: relatively abundant and relatively clean, fresh water. Wherever there are such concentrations of a valuable resource, you can be sure there will be a struggle between the advocates of short-term exploitation for private profit and the partisans of long-term management for the common good. It is none too early to widen and deepen the channels for the latter view.

Rudy Perkins

revised 7/7/09

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