Letters to the Editor

Watering lawn expensive, but water is not lost

To the editor:

Re: Expert Advises Homeowners To Stop Wasting Water On Lawns, Sept. 11 Capital News.

I was amused by the statements made by Chris Woods at the Okanagan Basin Water Board annual meeting in Kelowna Sept. 7, as printed in the Capital News. He states that Okanagan folks are “wasting water” by watering their lawns.

I guess it is generally accepted that if someone is from out of town and is carrying a briefcase, that automatically makes him or her, an expert.

From what I know about water, it is not wasted by sprinkling it on lawns or gardens. Water placed on lawns soaks into the soil and does the following:

It provides a conduit for moisture and nutrients from the soil to travel into the roots of plants growing in the soil and allows them to grow and thrive.  The grass or other plants expel oxygen into the air, cool the area around them and if they are vegetable or fruit plants they also provide food to eat. Some water is immediately evaporated and travels into the atmosphere to eventually fall as rain or snow in some other location. What water isn’t used by the grass or plants sinks deeper into the ground and eventually returns to the underground aquifer.

Even water spilled out over the curb is not wasted as such but will either sink into the soil or drain to the storm drain and it too eventually returns to the atmosphere, the aquifer or the stream or lake.

One is of course wasting his or her money by spilling water onto the roadway, but not the water.

I will take green grass, flowers and vegetables over a rock and weed pile any time. Do you ever see children playing, or people relaxing in lawn chairs in a burnt-out dry rock, weed patch?

Mr. Wood states that by not watering our laws and gardens we can invite three times as many people to come and live in a hot and arid desert, devoid of green space and trees and we can import all of our food from China or elsewhere, and spend our time praying for rain.

I question Mr. Wood’s statement that we lose 3.5 cubic kilometres of water yearly to climate change. Where does it go? It’s my understanding that a warmer average global temperature is melting the polar ice caps and is releasing more water into the seas thereby causing more evaporation and more water falling as precipitation. But he is the “expert” so we must believe him I guess. I didn’t read his credentials, other than that he is an author.

One thing I did agree with him about was that we are discharging harmful chemicals into our eco-systems and that in the end might be our undoing.  But watering our lawns and gardens will not cause it.

Ted Bajer, Kelowna

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