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.HarvestH2o.com, 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@HarvestH2o.com.