Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Drought Forum

I was not able to attend last night's Drought Forum at the Sarah Duke Gardens event hall. From the media and local blogs, it is receiving a lot of deserved attention. Bull City Rising has posted Kevin's notes from a discussion led by city leaders, university scholars, and water experts. Over 300 attendees were present.

My first impression after reading the synopses reinforces what I have feared as our drought has worsened: the Southeast has historically endured long-term droughts and this could be the start of a trend. So we've done this before, except now we've got loads more people living, bathing, flushing, and washing. Thus, we have not really ever done this before. Scary.

Finding a way to satisfy human consumption and build a sustainable infrastructure that can meet our region's growing demands for water is the underlying issue (with increased conservation the mandatory lesson to learn). However, I am also hopeful that an increased use of drought-tolerant and native plant species will be taken up by homeowners, builders, and landscapers. Preparing our parks, yards, and greenspaces for a future without endless irrigation is a good thing. I am glad to hear this idea was promoted in last night's discussion. It won't be the last time we hear it.

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