Band together in water wars

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By The Staff

We have asked a couple of times for our public bodies to do a little bit more to get involved in the effort to stop the interbasin transfer.

The state of North Carolina approved a request from two of its towns, Concord and Kannapolis, to withdraw up to 10 million gallons a day from the Catawba River.

That water would be returned, as sewage, to the Yadkin-Pee Dee River basin.

When this first popped up, at the end of 2005, Chester County Council approved a resolution saying it was opposed to the transfer. There wasn’t too much other action after that, for a while.

Sometimes government agencies think things like passing a resolution against something like that is taking a firm stand.

In this instance, it turns out that Chester County’s resolution, along with one from the S.C. General Assembly and a bunch of other towns and counties here in South Carolina, weren’t included as part of the official record. The agency that made the decision never got to see what our county said about this.

Councilman Tommy Martin took up the issue when he was appointed chairman of the council after Gene Cudd’s resignation. He attended a meeting in Columbia, one which, ultimately, led to S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster’s decision to sue the state of North Carolina in the U.S. Supreme Court over the issue.

At that time, it was discussed that the affected counties, including Lancaster, and towns would be asked to chip in.

We have previously urged County Council do more than just pass a resolution. We asked the council to set aside some money to aid this suit. York County had already set aside hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist in the suit.

Other agencies need to be ready to assist as well.

A lot of people got cocky, we think, after the last drought ended. We don’t understand how. That drought lasted five years.

Yet people think, "Why worry about water?"

Yet this drought is worse than the prior drought.

And if it lasts as long, we are in serious trouble.

Our river basins are heavily dependent upon rain. Some county officials have learned, to their dismay, that being on a well is no security. The river is running so low now, it threatens to start sucking the groundwater out.

Winter rainfall helped a bit. Just a bit.

We can’t afford to have 10 million gallons of water a day sucked out of our water supply.