Friday, July 28, 2006


In yesterday's paper, there was an opinion column saying that we should save Wisconsin's water resources by not letting it be bottled up and shipped out of the state. First of all, the author has apparently flunked first grade science, since there is this wonderful thing called the hydrologic cycle. If all it took was a boatload of water to green up an area, we would have done so generations ago. How much water is in a particular area is more a function of weather patterns than water exports.

Second, she chooses her targets rather peculiarly. Why not target milk exports? Milk is primarily water, yet exporting milk has not aroused her ire.

Third, there are always proxy exports. Beef, for example, requires a tremendous amount of water to produce. If we export beef, we are, in effect, exporting water to areas that have little water.

Fourth, it is not like we are not receiving anything in exchange for our water exports. Wisconsin may be loaded with water, but we are significantly short of other things, which other states supply. In the end, we provide water where it is needed, and goods where they are needed, and everyone is happy.

Finally, just to be facetious, why don't we dam up our rivers at the border to keep our precious water from leaving the sodding state? Or better yet, let's suck all the water out of the river and sell it to the neighbors to whom it would otherwise flow!


Blogger Noumenon said...

This is a great post. Had no idea how sketchy the column was once you dig into it.

I wonder why she did pick on bottled water? Either a) funded by someone or b) some kind of naturalism + anticorporation kick.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

I did some further reading and found that a few years ago there was a plan to fill supertankers with water in Lake Michigan and export them to places with little water. People protested strongly against that one. Perhaps she's trying to recover the same enthusiasm for a different program.

9:09 PM  

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