Last month my mother received a water bill that was ten times her normal quarterly payment. I felt all three aspects of her pain and frustration. First, there was the financial pain. Second, there was her indignation at the leak-related loss of what I calculated to be at least 122,000 gallons and that was just the loss BEFORE the water bill was calculated. Presumably much more was lost between that time and… Read More
What would you do if you opened your monthly water bill and found an invoice for almost $5,000? For Tyrone Jarvis, owner of Go Green Auto Care in Newport News, Virginia this wasn’t just a thought experiment. Nearly four years ago, he opened his mail expecting to find his typical water bill which generally ran about $59 per month. Instead, he found a four-digit surprise.
Here’s my dilemma: I’ve got infrastructure on my mind, water infrastructure to be specific. There are things I want to say to my elected officials, especially those in Washington DC, about the needs, the urgency, the strategic importance of repairing and upgrading our water systems. However, with daily panics coming out of our national capitol raising even more fundamental questions about the health of our democracy, this doesn’t seem like the best… Read More
Earlier this fall I took my dogs into Jacobus Park, the county park that’s a few blocks from my home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, hoping to let them get their feet wet as a consolation prize for not being able to take them swimming in any big water. We walked down to the creek, which isn’t more than three feet wide on most days, and I couldn’t help but notice the yucky crud oozing… Read More
This morning’s news made mention that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions continue to decrease. This is extremely welcome news, but we can hardly consider the job done. There is much work ahead, and all sectors need to be part of the solution. We’ve long known that energy efficiency and conservation, as well as shifts to renewable energy sources are critical pathways toward climate stability. But today about two dozen experts from across the… Read More
On July 15th, 2010 I had the opportunity to address the White House’s Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force during their meeting in Chicago. Here are my remarks, based entirely on the input we’ve heard through The Johnson Foundation Freshwater Forum: Good afternoon, and thank you Chair Sutley and members of the task force for the opportunity to speak to you. I’d like to first commend you for taking on this critical issue of… Read More