America's Water Crisis is Here
If you thought paying $4 a gallon for gas was bad wait until you start paying $10 to take a shower
Most Americans take water for granted because it has been relatively cheap and plentiful, but those days are quickly coming to an end. The water emergency in California is just the beginning; Florida, Georgia and Arizona are dropping to critical levels with projections of at least 36 states facing significant water shortages within five years and the levels in America’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead may drop so low that the Hoover Dam will no longer produce electricity in just 12 years.
Global warming, changing weather patterns and a temporary drought get much of the blame, but people are missing one of the main factors in this disaster:
America flushes 2 trillion gallons of water out to the oceans every week!
Municipalities draw water out of the ground and send it to a treatment plant and those plants discharge to a river that flows downstream to the ocean. This process began in the 1950’s with the advent of suburban living and has continued to expand and grow. Now after 60 years of this practice our ground water supplies are running out.
Although this crisis is obvious, very few are taking it seriously. Most people feel some “agency” will look out for our best interests, but our government has become reactive…they wait until something breaks then spend lots of tax dollars to fix it.
Stimulus dollars will make it worse…money set aside for shovel ready projects has developers, engineering firms and local governments lining up to build more facilities because they allow for dense packed housing and that means higher profits and tax revenues.
The solution is to stop building treatment plants and expand the use of onsite systems which are much cheaper, produce far less pollution and replenish local water supplies, but the profits for developers and engineering firms are so phenomenal this option is buried.
This engineering disaster can be stopped if taxpayers are told the whole story.
I Became An Advocate For Water Issues Because Of A Personal Experience.
I am an environmental educator based in Minnesota but lived in Florida in the 1970’s and snorkeling the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic quickly became a passion. In 2004 I brought my grandchildren to Florida to show them the beauty of the coral reef only to find the beach off-limits due to a red-tide outbreak and that the water clarity had been reduced to a mere few feet.
A friend with the Florida Health dept told me it began happening in ALL Florida waters when developers pressured community leaders to build treatment plants so they could build homes/condos for the millions of baby-boomers coming to Florida to retire. He also brought up Florida’s dwindling water supplies and that these problems were common knowledge within the state agencies but employees were threatened with dismissal if they went public. This is now happening in all the sun-belt states.
As an educator I learned this situation was common knowledge in the academic community, but very few of my fellow lecturers were willing to go “negative” in public. However because I do not receive grants, research dollars or endowments from these groups I have taken a stand against them.
To me it is not the money but the widespread environmental damages these facilities do. Every year accidents dump billions of gallons of raw sewage into our lakes, rivers and oceans. A dead zone the size of New Jersey has already formed off the coast of Louisiana and red tide outbreaks have become common in almost all coastal areas where these plants were built…built to protect the environment!!!
The solution is simple and cheap…septic systems. They will treat wastewater better, do it at a fraction of the cost and they recharge the local water supplies, however property owners are not told this because the cities, engineering firms and developers can not cash in on septic systems.
I am now using my position as an educator to help citizens fight these projects and have already helped communities shut down proposed plants. But doing it alone has been extremely difficult, so I have teamed with New York businessman Bob Eichinger to form Decentralized Advisors. The purpose of this organization is to help communities fight these projects because if Americans do not act now those days at the beach will be long gone and the price of water will go through the roof.
Fighting these projects is simple, and you don't need to spend thousands of dollars hiring attorneys, consultants and engineers; all you have to do is make sure your septic systems meet the codes that are on the books today...not 40 years ago. But there is a smart way to do this; first you need to organize the people in your community and make sure they are on the same page. The next step is to negotiate bulk discounts with your local septic contractors to perform inspections, designs and installs (for those that need them). Negotiating with septic system manufacturers will also save you significantly. Then you can apply for private and public grants to help pay for this process.
FYI--Since the passing of the Clean Water Act in the 1970's millions of dollars have been allocated for repairing and upgrading onsite systems, but there is a little catch, you need to ask for it and ask for it in they right way.
Once you have code compliant septic systems you can tell the city to run that big-pipe somewhere else because you don't need it. It's really that simple. Bob Eichinger and I will work with your community to help you through this process step by step.
But here is a little warning for you...don't wait too long to act. What has been happening is engineering firms are sneaking in to design a treatment plant and sticking citizens with a hefty bill, even if they don't get the job. Read the thank you letter below. This community paid 3.4 million dollars to an engineering firm that didn't even dig a hole (we are going to try and help them get some of this money back). And keep in mind, they paid large legal fees and were still going to lose.
Get the picture...Like these people, you can spend years and millions dollars in engineering fees and legal costs, or you can do it right from the start.
If your community is facing a treatment facility and want to fight it you can reach me at:
1-763-856-3800 (direct) or 1-888-873-6505 or by email at email@example.com
You can reach Bob Eichinger at
Or call him at 1-845-803-1571
We will have much more information available when time allows us to get it up on the sites...the clock is ticking on this one.
Jim vonMeier-Environmental Educator