Letters to the Ed. on Wells’ rights based ordinance

Three Letters to the Editor, April 16, 2009, SeacoastOnline.org

Open letter to Selectman Spiller

I took your suggestion to go to www.celdf.org. The information I found has re-enforced my conviction that the citizens of the town of Wells have every right to bring the “rights based ordinance” before the people for a vote. This site has inspired me to support the “SOH2O” group to move forward and do everything it can to bring this protection to our town.

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Enough water? Let’s figure it out

Portland Press Herald, Bill Nemitz, April 9, 2009

REBUTTAL #1 by David Gibson follows below
REBUTTALS #2 & #3 by Tim Copeland and Steve Carroll were printed by the Portland Press Herald here.
Floyd Folsom and Jamilla El-Shafei were later printed by the Portland Press Herald here.

Listening to my basement sump pump hard at work the other day, I got to thinking. How many gallons a day, I wondered, flow into and out of my basement during these waterlogged days of early spring? Which in turn made me wonder: How much water falls on our 1.86-acre yard in a given year?

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Wells selectmen delay water ordinance

By Nick Cowenhoven, Journal Tribune

WELLS – Seeking to defuse a controversy over water resources, the Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to take its time pursuing a town ordinance regulating commercial extraction of groundwater.

[NOTE:  Under Wells’ new charter, which goes into effect July 1, the Select Board will be able to vote on the ordinance after July 1.]

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Wells activists push for water-extraction ban

Bob Walter, co-chairman of water rights group Save Our Water, holds a sign with group member Jacqui Deveneau inside the Wells Town Hall on April 14 during a Board of Selectmen budget workshop.

By Steve Bodnar, SeacoastOnline, April 16, 2009

WELLS — A moratorium on large-scale water extraction is set to expire May 4, but a few dozen individuals rallied before a budget workshop Tuesday to support getting that temporary ban extended.

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Earth Jurisprudence: Legal Rights for Gaia

By Susan Meeker-Lowry, Culture Change

Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is. – Tao The King (Tao Te Ching), ch. 25

Have you noticed a shift in the dialog around climate change lately? There’s less talk of prevention, or even avoiding the worst of it, in favor of finding ways of adapting to the coming changes.

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Down East Magazine’s “Hot Tip”: Use the Tap

Down East Magazine, April 2009

One way to start going green is by putting down that little plastic bottle with the green label. At least that’s what the city of Portland is telling its businesses and residents. Last year the Portland City Council passed a “Take Back the Tap” resolution vowing to fund public water systems and discourage the consumption of bottled water.

Take Back the Tap (takebackthetap.org) is a national initiative gaining ground in cities, restaurants, and households across America. A host of Portland restaurants and bars have already made the pledge, which is available online for both individuals and restaurants. The movement is particularly symbolic in Maine, a state that bottles one million gallons of its water a day under the label of Poland Spring, according to Food & Water Watch, the national consumer advocacy organization behind Take Back the Tap.

Even if you’re not going green in the eco sense, we’ll bet saving a little green in the wallet is high on your list for 2009: tap water costs taxpayers about $.002 per gallon while bottled water can run you as much as ten dollars a gallon for “premium” brands.

Water petition rejected by Wells selectmen

WELLS — There are two schools of thought on how water extraction should be governed in town — rights- and regulatory-based — but sentiment expressed by the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday made it clear there are uncertainties with each.

In a 3-2 vote, the board narrowly rejected a citizen’s petition to place a rights-based water extraction ordinance on the June warrant, despite some reservation shown from at least one of the selectmen who turned the measure down.

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Who is Protecting our Groundwater? (letter, video)

On Tuesday, March 31, I went to Augusta with other members of Save Our Water to testify at a hearing in support of bill LD 837, titled, “An act to protect Maine’s Groundwater.”

The language of the bill is simple: “Interest in groundwater, protections notwithstanding any other provision of law, the people of this State have the same common interest in groundwater as in fresh surface waters. Groundwater is due at the same protections as fresh waters in the lakes and streams.”

LD 837 simply and beautifully extends that the same laws that protect surface waters in this State to the groundwaters that are scientifically connected to those surface waters.

Even Nestlé/Poland Spring has a diagram in their corporate literature which demonstrates that the groundwater and surface water systems are connected. Why have two separate laws governing groundwater and surface water, as if they are two different systems, when in reality they are one system of water? Under the current laws, our groundwater is not protected in the same way as our surface waters. So I ask, why would anyone object to a bill designed simply to protecting our groundwater ?

That is why I was appalled to see that our KKW Water District Superintendent in attendance testifying AGAINST the bill! Isn’t his job to protect our groundwater?

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