The Ongoing Water Problem: It is comforting to know that we now have Plan B to solve the water supply problem here in Okotoks.
There is no doubt that the combined power and influence of the Town and the municipality of Foothills will soon have water in abundance from now through into the future. Of course, for those of us who have lived in the area for many years and experienced periodic water shortages, this is a great relief.
We can only hope that Plan B is not just another scheme that has us shuffling water licences from one user to another with no real explanation as to where the water is actually going to come from. There are still those around who seem to confuse water licences with the real wet stuff.
I have yet to meet a water licence that you can actually drink. On the whole matter of water supply in this area, there are two very important lessons that history should have taught us. Lesson 1 is that this is an area that experiences periodic and sometimes extended periods of drought and that in those drought periods the Sheep River catchment does not have sufficient water to supply even the existing population that lives here, let alone the extra 30,000 or 40,000 water users that our planners have promised will join us over the next few years. Lesson No. 2 is that our political leaders have demonstrated many times before that they are quite incapable of remembering lesson No. 1. Two showers of rain and one more application for development and all thoughts of drought seem to float away like thistledown in a prairie wind.
Let us hope that this time the memories are longer and that Plan B is not just based on water licences and mirrors but on some real suggestions on where we are going to find more water.