The Sun Chronicle recently had an interesting article on water shortages in Attleboro. The city came startling close to running out of water last year. The article cited climate change as a possible cause, since shifting water patterns may result in increased drought. Population growth was also a factor.
I found it disappointing that the article focused so little on individual water usage. Climate change and population growth probably did contribute to the shortage, but blaming these factors alone allows individual attitudes toward water use to go unquestioned.
An an anecdotal basis, I’ve observed a casual attitude toward water that is rather troubling. People seem to think of water as something that originates magically from the tap, not a limited natural resource. We use it to wash cars, water lawns, and take half-hour showers. Many of us leave the tap running while shaving or brushing their teeth.
The article didn’t dare suggest that water shortages are a reality, and that perhaps we should try not to use so much. All it said was water bans are unpopular because people like to wash their cars. Then it listed several ways the town is trying to hook up to other reservoirs in case of another drought. In other words: Don’t rethink watering your lawn, you should be able to use as much water as you want! Pawtucket will help us out next time around.