The politics of waterPublished 10:42am Friday, November 30, 2012
Hendersonville is connected to the Asheville system. Once the powers of politics and money come together in Asheville, they will look to their next areas of conquest. Like all vultures (capitalists and politicians), they will look to build on other peoples sacrifices. After conquering the Hendersonville system, the rest of us will be the “icing on the cake.” Once the control shifts to some “regional authority” (and eventually “state authority”), then the entire decision-making will shift out of the control of local citizens. Whether you believe it or not, what it means is that growth and the patterns of growth, including zoning and planning, will be driven by power and politics somewhere else.
How well do you think that will work for us?
The power of water lies in those that supply the water and those that use the water. When the regional authority takes over, there will be a ban on the drilling of individual wells in any location that the regional authority can or could provide water. This is a standard operating procedure and it will happen because it takes away competitors to the regional authority.
In Saluda, we fumbled the best opportunity we had to be a supplier of water after my mayoral re-election bid failed. We had negotiated a deal to purchase the Tuxedo Water System from a private business. The system had a prolific water supply well that could have provided all the citizens and businesses of Polk County with water for decades to come. This would have given us significant negotiating power in the water wars to come.
Unfortunately, the options and leverage we had to ensure that we owned all or a part of the Tuxedo system was squandered and the opportunity trickled away. Our future with regard to water will be determined by the suppliers and Saluda is not going to be among them. It is much better to negotiate from a position of strength than from weakness and the suppliers of water have and will always have the position of strength.