A weekly blog for all things conservation
By: Kevin Brown, Agricultural Resource Specialist
Right here in Pennsylvania! Sound crazy? Sound like something that the government came up with just to get some more of YOUR hard-earned money? Maybe, but it is happening. And, as much as you may think it’s a crazy idea, it has some validity behind it. I know I possibly could start a firestorm here but read on for where this notion is coming from and why we do need to do something about it. There may be better ideas how to handle it, but here is the concept:
Did you read last week’s article? If not, go back and read that one first. Good points were brought up about where we want water (in the soil) and where we don’t (flooding people’s property). Flooding continues to get worse and worse. The biggest issue truly is not properly managing rainfall. We like to blame the changing climate for everything. We hear it everywhere. That is because we never want to blame ourselves for anything. It’s not my fault; it’s something ambiguous that I can’t control, otherwise I would have to do something about it, and I don’t want to be bothered. The truth is WE (directly) are to blame for most of it. Not because we have changed the climate due to motorized vehicles and carbon issues and the like. NO, because we continue to take good, healthy, open, water infiltrating soil and destroy it. Or, even worse yet, just cover it completely (with a new house, a parking lot, a new business, etc.). I know we don’t want to blame ourselves for anything in this day and age, but WE are the problem. And unless we start doing something about it, it will continue to get worse. Let’s keep putting up houses and buildings and parking lots and collect all that water that used to go into the soil and send it to the nearest stream. Oh, great idea. It keeps your place neat and tidy maybe, but the person living downstream who has never had to worry about flooding just got flooded because this happens a thousand times a day and it just keeps compounding the problem. Once you concentrate water, it is almost impossible to “un” concentrate it and get it to go into the ground. Not without major, expensive projects. You concentrate the water in YOUR gutter, that runs across the lawn (if we are lucky) and then goes to the ditch, to the stream, to the river and to the Bay. You just made it worse.
We need water. We need it for survival. We need to keep it for our wells certainly. For our crops. For our lawns. For our gardens. The list goes on. Water is the most valuable commodity on earth. Without it, we do not survive. Period. Yet we seem to do a fantastic job getting it away from us and on to the sea as fast as we can. And the poor people between here and there - well, sucks to be them. (I am saying this sarcastically of course!!) I feel bad for them. Yes, some have just built in the wrong place. But some have never been flooded before. Well, not before the town expanded 10-fold and the new shopping mall went in, and the gas stations, etc.
The Solution - a tax. On rain! Don’t laugh. You may be paying one someday if we don’t get this problem figured out. I will continue to explain next week.
The Bradford County Conservation District is committed to helping people manage resources wisely. You can visit the Bradford County Conservation District at 200 Lake Rd in Wysox across from the Wysox Fire Hall. Contact us at (570) 485-3144 or visit our web page at www.bccdpa.com.
Various staff at the Bradford County Conservation District