Count your bless­ings


As a com­mu­nity, we have much to be thank­ful for. As we go into the hol­i­days, a time of hec­tic run­ning around, we of­ten do not spend enough time re­flect­ing and be­ing grate­ful for how lucky we are. Even in this time of po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty, many things re­main cer­tain. We live in one of the rich­est coun­tries in the world, we have one of the high­est stan­dard of liv­ing achieved by civ­i­liza­tion thus far, we live in rel­a­tive se­cu­rity in com­par­i­son to most of the other places in the world, we live in an area that is sur­rounded by nat­u­ral beauty, and we live in a pro­gres­sive com­mu­nity.

When it comes to wa­ter, one of the most pre­cious things on the planet and one on which we in the arid south­west de­pend upon for our very sur­vival, we are ex­tremely lucky. Our wa­ter fu­ture is as se­cure as it has ever been froma re­sult of work that has gone on over the past few decades. We have a highly var­ied wa­ter sup­ply: wells, the Santa Fe wa­ter­shed, and the San Juan Chama Project wa­ter via the Rio Grande. We have an en­gaged com­mu­nity that cares about wa­ter con­ser­va­tion and has driven down our over­all de­mand over the last decade while our pop­u­la­tion has grown.

We are for­tu­nate to live in a com­mu­nity where our builders/de­sign­ers/ar­chi­tects care about the fu­ture. They have been ma­jor pro­po­nents of ag­gres­sive im­prove­ments in our en­ergy and wa­ter codes, thus en­sur­ing that we con­tinue to push down our wa­ter and en­ergy use for gen­er­a­tions to come.

We are for­tu­nate to have many city and county em­ploy­ees that are pro­gres­sive in their think­ing when it comes to these same is­sues. These “in­vis­i­ble” folks have en­acted con­ser­va­tion into our land-use code, our stormwa­ter re­quire­ments, and our wa­ter-con­ser­va­tion pro­grams.

We are for­tu­nate to live in a com­mu­nity where our pub­lic-school sys­tem walks the talk, con­tin­u­ally driv­ing down wa­ter and en­ergy use, al­low­ing it to spend­more on ed­u­ca­tion and less on util­i­ties. We are for­tu­nate to live in a com­mu­nity in which our youth can re­ceive higher ed­u­ca­tion in sus­tain­able trades with­out hav­ing to leave the area. This train­ing at Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Col­lege, the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter, and our lo­cal mag­net schools pro­vides a gate­way to sus­tain­able lo­cal jobs and col­lege.

These are just a sliver of the things I am­grate­ful for as I re­flect back on the past and look for­ward to the fu­ture in our bountiful coun­try and amaz­ing com­mu­nity. I hope you will also take a few min­utes this hol­i­day sea­son to ap­pre­ci­ate all you have and all you are thank­ful for.

Doug Pushard, founder of the web­site www.Har­, has de­signed and in­stalled res­i­den­tial rain­wa­ter sys­tems for over a decade. He is a mem­ber of the Santa FeWater Con­ser­va­tion Com­mit­tee, a life­time mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Rain­wa­ter Catch­ment Sys­tems As­so­ci­a­tion, and an EPAWaterSense Part­ner. He can be reached at doug@Har­

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