SARGE: Water Under The Bridge

Mr. A. Hays Town Jr. wrote a commentary to the column: Water, Water Everywhere published on 4-3-2014 in The Hayride and numerous E-Zines. I will copy and paste Mr. Town’s entry into the conversation as follows: “Located at: (the media he responded in) and: Posted by: Hays Town / Email: [email protected] / URL: Location: Baton Rouge

“This article totally misses the mark. Industry including EXXON and Georgia Pacific, above BR, is pumping eighty million gallons of fresh ground water per day, 365 days per year, causing the rapid intrusion of salt water into the fresh aquifer under EBR. Senator Claitor is trying to bring attention to this and protect the fresh drinking water for the people.  Sincerly  Hays Town  Conseritave Repulibican and one of your misdirected… (sic)”  The communication ended in this fashion and I have no idea as to how this sentence may or may not have been meant to finish.

Mr. Town, I would like to state YOU in no way have the right to tell me what the “mark” is in any commentary I may write. I know what I’m getting at and it isn’t the agenda driven program you’re following. It has to do with agenda driven programs affecting the common man. It has to do with the fact so many people think because they have extensive educations they have all the answers to all of the questions. It should never be assumed advanced education is indicative of advanced intelligence or that ANY person has the right and only answers at any given moment.

It has to do with wannabee bureaucrats and politicians seeking higher office and influence by tackling complex issues and letting the game be fixed by inappropriate and self-serving actions, to wit: developing committees to develop: “comprehensive” legislation – “Not later than January 1, 2017, the Water Code Committee shall present proposed legislation to the Legislature providing comprehensive Water Code provisions ….”

To the readers: Mr. Town defended his Master’s Thesis Titled: “A Case History of Use and Management of the Baton Rouge Fresh Water Aquifer System” on 4-8-2013. This indicates extensive study of Hydrology. He cites references to: “A review of technical reports by the US Geological Survey and others indicates that saltwater intrusion into the aquifer has occurred and is spreading at an increasing rate. The state groundwater management structure includes two organizations. Legal responsibility for management of the aquifer lies with the Louisiana State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) through the Office of the Commissioner of Conservation, while the Capital Area Ground Water Conservation Commission (CAGWCC) appears to function as a permanent task force, holding quarterly public meetings concerning groundwater issues.”

As the “article” was an effort to place the subject in the public forum and identify the main actors, I’d suggest it doesn’t “miss the mark” at all. It hits the nail on the head and if that gives some people some pain either there or somewhat south of the beltline, I can only hope they feel better in the future. It appears Claitor wants a STATE committee to oversee all the efforts. This is another dose of unnecessary duplication through replication, and in the name of the citizen; defecation on all for the betterment of one.

In the study: “A Defining Resource: Louisiana’s Place in the Emerging Water Economy”, Mark Davis and Jim Wilkins write, “Louisiana water law, like that of most water-rich states, is more of a hodgepodge than a systematic approach to ordering and managing water resources.It has been shaped more by the abundance of our waters than by any experience with scarcity.”(Emphasis is mine.)

When appreciating the easily understood underlined passage it must be asked: “why in the world do we need ANOTHER committee to be entered into the already cluttered field studying this issue?” Further, the Louisiana Ground Water Resource March 2012 report to the legislature, the Commission noted “conflicting legal concepts about the state’s water have created a paradox resulting in the state charging for surface water resources that are normally in abundance, while allowing uncompensated withdrawal of groundwater resources that are often in limited supply.” This is said to occur outside of the CAGWCC control area.

In an excellent example of one hand NOT knowing what the other is doing, the controls sought to be emplaced provide the illusory appearance of proper stewardship. They’re actually deleterious to the end result. Aesop always said: “too many cooks spoil the soup”. And it would appear Mr. Claitor and his colleagues Mr. Town and Retired U.S. Army General Russel Honore’ are trying to add more salt to say they contributed to the feast.

While the aforementioned gentlemen (at least one of whom I greatly admire for his extensive service to our nation) are permitted the thoughts and theories they espouse, I must admit I do NOT believe in the limitless altruism and selflessness advertised most of the time.

Mr. Town has a desire to be a mover and shaker in this discussion. General Honore’ in his website says: “General Russel Honoré, LLC was created to offer services to a variety of clientele; businesses, policymakers and individuals, providing tools to enable everyone to embrace a “Culture of Preparedness.” Mr. Claitor is interested in taking Representative Bill Cassidy’s place in Washington. Therefore he appears to trolling for an issue on which he can hang his candidate’s hat now he’s thrown it into the ring. So, we can best understand there are commercial interests in this matter that supersede the altruism suggested.

You can trust there’ll be more to come on this subject.

Thanks for listening.

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