Water rationing spurs finger-pointing, possible solutions

Print Article

This week’s water rationing order by Moses Lake city officials prompts many questions. Are we running out of water? Is there enough room to support current and future growth? Why are we rationing now? Is the county issuing too many water permits?

Monday’s water rationing order enacted by the city means residents must abide by a schedule to water lawns and wash cars. Homes with even-numbered addresses can water on even days and odd-numbered homes water on odd days. The same schedule applies to car washing at home.

We realize this is an inconvenience to those of you who want green lawns during high temperatures and clean cars on demand. But sacrifice is in order. We thought it best to include information directly from the city’s water rationing order, included below.

“The water system is in need of relief; water usage has caused reservoirs to have low level alarms, wells available in the zones cannot keep up with the demand during this period of hot weather. The Water Division recommends that there be a city-wide rationing until all the wells can keep up with the demand.”

There appear to be many contributing factors, as online commenters on the Columbia Basin Herald and City of Moses Lake Facebook pages point out. We think discourse is great, but let’s be careful about casting blame if we don’t know all the facts. Blaming certain water users or a state agency doesn’t help solve the problem. And all details aren’t entirely known. One issue appears to be inadequate pumping capacity, according to one commenter. “For whatever reason, pumping capacity - which must allow for equipment failure - hasn’t kept up. Increasing pumping capacity is neither cheap nor easy, so this situation will probably get worse before it gets better.” We feel this was a well-thought-out comment that analyzed the issue well.

We feel other responses might have been thought out better. Posting photos of lawns that were watered off schedule is probably not the best way to build community. Perhaps some people needed lead time to adjust their watering schedules. The water rationing order was put into effect immediately on Monday because of the urgent situation. So, giving people the benefit of the doubt might be a good idea. Especially given many people are gone during the summer months and may have timers on their sprinkler systems.

Some good questions cropped up too. One reader asked why water couldn’t just be removed from Moses Lake to meet the increased demand. A former city administrator replied online that doing so is “complicated and expensive” due to the water ownership, permitting and water treatment issues.

Indeed, water is a complicated and heavily regulated issue in our state. We need water for life, agriculture and development. We appreciate ideas and comments that help bring the city to a solution.

— Editorial Board

Print Article

Read More Editorial

Standing naked in the world

March 29, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald Shocking title! You are not physically without clothes in public, but your digital identity is visible and unprotected. In a way, you are standing nude in the digital world. You need clothes, that is...

Comments

Read More

School shooting shouldn’t erase teenage normalcy

March 29, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald A month and a half ago, an angry, messed-up young man entered a high school in Florida, pulled a fire alarm and started shooting people as they emerged from classrooms. The aftermath included 17 dead...

Comments

Read More

Why would we not build a second high school?

March 22, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald So why would you not build a new high school if 60 percent of your voters said ‘“let us work together and make our community a better place to live, grow, and enjoy our families and friends?” We know...

Comments

Read More

Local schools taking right steps for safety

March 15, 2018 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald The Feb. 14 shooting in a Parkland, Florida high school that left 17 dead remains on many people’s minds. In Moses Lake, a School Safety and Security Task Force was formed to create a safety projec...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2018 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X