Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More poorly managed groundwater resources

John Fleck posted this link about a week ago. It's got all the familiar themes for us in the West: drying rivers, dropping water tables, unregulated groundwater pumping, and large irrigated lawns. But it's not in the West, it's in Massachusetts!

Pretty amazing to think of people in Mass., where it rains 48 inches a year, watering their lawns. Do they just really enjoy cutting the grass? The article cites some per capita water use numbers showing that some communities use more water than people do in Tucson - where it rains 12 inches in a good year. The state is stepping in to mandate that average water use for residential customers get down to 65 gallons/capita/day - easily enough water for average indoor needs. Which should deal with the people who don't have the ability to sink a well on their property. But unless they also intend to regulate well drilling on residential lots that might not solve the problem entirely. At the very least they should get people to meter their private wells and pay an extraction fee for pumpage above some limit.

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