Streamline - Spring 2013 - (Page 16)
BY NANCY CARR,
Thank you for
good years at
THE USDA THREE-YEAR contract for Source Water Protection finished on March 30. I chose that
date to retire from a job that allowed me to explore Virginia like a free bird. Rural roads beckoned
me from the Appalachians to the Atlantic. The waters beneath the land and flowing through forests
and farms, small towns, and developing communities connected me to the landscapes and to the
people living there.
We are one with our waters.
I’m going to get on a soapbox here and express
some of what I’ve learned in my seven years at
The lesson of source water protection is that we cannot separate ourselves and our lifestyles from the
places on earth that we inhabit. Water
is the blood of the earth. Like arteries and veins, water accepts whatever goes into it, transporting both
nourishment and poison to some
Those who design stream bank
restoration know that a naturally
flowing river or creek is always
changing its course. Putting riprap here,
pulling an edge back there to eliminate a steep
cutbank, are only temporary measures in the
physics of flowing water. Rivers want to snake
their ways through valleys. The human tendency
to halt change is to deny nature, but water teaches
us that change is constant and inevitable.
I owe the people I’ve met a great deal. The
list is long. To name a few, I include the utility directors, water and wastewater operations
specialists, town managers and county administrators, conservation technicians, inspectors,
planners, educators, trainers, salespeople, engineers, clerks, geologists, farmers, fishing guides,
permit writers, map-makers, realtors, students
(fifth-graders rock!), and the regulators.
What community has ever been built without
a source of clean, available water? We fret over
ever more regulations in the water and wastewater industries. But is there any other way to
challenge behavior that is damaging the life supports we share in common?
I have been passionate about this job because
I am passionate about water. The spark has been
16 S T R E A M L I N E • S p r i n g 2 0 1 3
continually fanned by the people with whom I’ve
worked. They’ve allowed me “into” their unique
cultures and have generously given time, expertise, advice, and often friendship. They offered
ingenious ideas at a grassroots level to protect
their drinking water. Many people stepped forward as residents who were concerned about
their water and their neighbors’ water. I’ve met
many hard-working, dedicated people who want
to do the right things, as they see them, for the
environment and for their communities. (Albeit
we are still defining what is “right.”)
Conservation is practical, common sense.
When you are sick, you try to get well. When you
damage someone’s property, you have to make
amends. If something is used up, it’s gone. It is
easier, and less expensive, to stay healthy and to
prevent accidents. It is best to go the middle road
and to conserve resources. The same maxims
apply to our environment. Everyone affects the
water near his home and business in some way.
The problem is we, the people, and hope lies in
we, the people, to keep our waters safe for all.
Life furthers itself. The earth renews herself.
The force of life goes on.
We don’t know exactly what environmental
changes will occur. Every plateau of new understanding brings new questions. The inevitable
change that we can control is the change in our
personal lifestyles, so that we conserve, consume
less, and recycle more. So keep it nature’s way
– choose the green infrastructure, choose solar,
develop new communities with low-impact development methods, control harmful insects without
chemicals, plant buffers along stream banks and
leave shrubs and trees there and in the hedgerows,
use native plants for landscaping, attract native
pollinators, buy local, walk, and recycle.
Thank you for seven very good years at your
service and with VRWA.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2013
From the President
From the Executive Director
Water and Wastewater Certifi cation Exam Test Taking Tips
Past 25 Years of VRWA
Proactive vs. Reactive
Asset Management and Drought Management
Is the Tank Contaminating the Water?
Committed to the Future of Rural Communities
Standard Operating Procedure For Leak Detection Using the Pressure Hold Method
The Virginia RATES Program is at Your Service
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
VRWA 25th Annual Exposition Agenda
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
Throwing My Loop
Welcoming New Members
Board Of Directors
Index To Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Spring 2013