Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Water Becomes The New Methamphetamine

It's not Roman Polanski and Jack Nicholson, but it does have a certain star quality to it

Sometimes you just inadvertently stumble into a bar fight. A few days back I posted a little request for information about water issues and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD). And now, merely days later, we've got video on Channel 13 that looks straight out of the movie "Chinatown". Well, except instead of Jack Nicholson getting his ass kicked by the farmer's thug, we just have farmers going at it campesino v. campesino.

First...thanks to those folks who responded via email and through blog comments about the issue. I can't claim to know much about the machinations of Bill Turner, the MRGCD and the rest of it, but I certainly know more than I did a week ago. I actually even knew enough to know why the two farmers above were pushing/shoving like two chunky kids in a middle school cafeteria line.

And frankly what little I know about the situation is pretty darn inspiring. In this day of verbal politicial attacks laced with supposed facts and market-researched spin, it's is so friggin' refreshing to have office holders calling each other's "bullshit", as did MRGCD Board Member (for now at least]) Bill Turner & Jim Roberts (whose alfalfa field I live adjacent to). (RR or watching stupefyingly boring ad to its conclusion)

I'm personally not into violence, either, but between Karl Rove Swift Boating ex-military opponents as "UnAmerican" and two farmers shoving each other out of unconcealed anger, I'll take the real v. faux passion any day.

I don't know if this story has any "legs" for our local media, but here's hoping that calls of bullshit and impassioned shoving are good for at least one in-depth report/analysis on the water rights situation. Otherwise, I might have to do it, and I'm on vacation here. So far the Journal and KRQE stories are about as informative as a MTV reality show: push, shove, "bullshit" and out.

The public needs to know more about how the MRGCD really works, more about Bill Turner and his water rights crusade/shenanigans, and alot more on exactly how decisions get made on the dwindling water supply running north and south through the valley. We all know water is the big issue these days, but we chosse to largely ignore it. Maybe that's because we know on a simple level that adding more people to a desert just doesn't make sense.

And that more people and more development will just lead to more situations like that within and without the MRGCD meeting yesterday. Right now it's "just" some wacky farmers from south of ABQ. But eventually it won't be. Eventually it will be, hmmmm, who knows who it will be?

Maybe I'm alone here, but I have this atomic mushroom cloud/planes hitting World Trade Center vision of a time where ABQ resident X turns on his/her sink faucet and nothing comes out. Then someone down the street does and the same thing happens. Then we swing the camera wildly through a montage of similar events in shower stalls, drinking fountains and garden hoses throughout the area.

Again, maybe I'm alone on this particular strain of paranoia. Still, events like that yesterday in front of the Conservancy District's offices can't help but feed a sense of impending water apocalypse. Or at least a growing curiosity. I think it's time we start paying attention to water issues like Feudal Prince Marty's San Juan Chama plan, and make plans to attend more MRGCD meetings.

And maybe work on our wrestling holds, just in case.

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