Water worth investing in and conserving

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.

&045;&045; Benjamin Franklin

Despite the much-needed rainfall we have received over the last several days, drought conditions continue in our county. Most cities in Shelby County, and the county as a whole, have asked residents to follow voluntary water restrictions going back to June 1 of this year.

The restrictions ask households with even number addresses to limit their outside water use to Monday and no more than two hours per day. Odd number addresses are being asked to water no more than two hours on Tuesday and Friday. No outside water use on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday allows time for water systems to recover and replenish.

One needs to look no further than to our friends and neighbors in Wilsonville to know just how severe water shortages can get.

Wilsonville&8217;s town leaders have been working to address Wilsonville&8217;s water shortage for years with no clear solutions. One effort to address the town&8217;s water limitations over the past decade or so has been to search for secondary water well locations; they came up dry on each exploratory drill. Recently, however, Wilsonville Mayor Rosemary Liveoak and the City Council agreed to begin purchasing water from the Columbiana Water Board once infrastructure for doing so is in place. All indications are that this will be a long-term solution for Wilsonville and its citizens.

Wilsonville community members also gathered recently with their own plan: prayer. Citizens joinedhands and prayed for rain to quench the severe drought that has brought the town&8217;s lone water well to within 5 feet of running dry.

County and city officials are responding appropriately by asking us to be judicious with water consumption and by investing in infrastructure to accommodate future water needs. As our county continues to grow and weather remains unpredictable, water concerns will not be eliminated.

Some experts predict our drought will continue into the spring of 2008. Voluntary adherance to prudent water restrictions and, for those moved to do so, offering a sincere prayer or two for rain, may very well be our best short-term solutions to our continued drought conditions.