Letter at Length: Bravo to Ashland for water conservation

The following is a fictional telephone conversation that could have occurred after the Ashland Community Drought Summit held at SOU on Tuesday evening.

“Hello, Mike, this is Jared. Hey, remember that drought thing we went to the other night up at SOU? Yeah, I really liked it, too; it was good to hear about what’s going on with water around here when it’s in short supply and all that. But there was something that the Ashland city administrator said that just doesn't make sense to me, and I wanted to run it by you since you’re an Ashlander, OK? Good.

“So, you know about how bad the drought is in California, especially near Sacramento. Well, they are having curtailment and all that and they are starting to give out fines or tickets or who knows what. Well, recently I read in the Mail Tribune that even though the Californians are in this water curtailment thing, their water usage actually increased last month, which made me think it must be really hard to cut down on the usage.

"But check this out — last night, didn't he say that you guys in Ashland usually use around 6.5 million gallons of good old H2O per day in the summer months, but that so far this year people are still only using about 4.5 million gallons per day? OK, so if my calculator is even close, that means Ashland residents and business owners have pretty much cut their typical summer water use by — well, about 30 percent! So, I’m figuring that can’t be right, and I just wanted to check it out with you since you’re the math whiz …

“So, it’s correct? Holy Toledo, so what kind of fines and penalties is the city hammering you guys with to get everybody to conserve water like that? What? None! So, you’re telling me that Ashland is not even in any curtailment program at all so far, but you've cut your typical summer water use by 30 percent? Wow, Dude, that’s amazing.

“OK, well, thanks for the reality check, my friend … yeah, I know I don’t even live in Ashland, but I guess I’m just impressed with what you guys are doing to deal with water consumption. Long-term views and all that. Good on you. See you at the game tomorrow.”

Robert Coffan, Medford

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