Andy’s Newspaper column archive

A question of water ©

If scientists are correct, there was a time when water may not have existed in abundance on this earth. They theorize that water at one time existed in abundance on Mars. Many eons have passed on planet earth and there is still a great deal of water on the planet, much of it undrinkable in its present salty form.

All animals and plants need water to survive. Some can survive in brackish water of varying degrees Some plants can clean water just by their very existence in it, but It is not apparent if such is possible by animals. Animals by their very nature consume clean drinkable water and convert it to that which is no longer drinkable.

The large animals have devised a system, whether by accident or design, to have an ongoing source of drinkable water. They do not remain in the same place/area for periods of time longer than the lands can tolerate. They move on providing a chance for the lands to replenish. The small animals require no such relocation scheme.

Even humans in the past by whatever plan were nomadic, periodically on the move to”greener pastures” Present day cycles are different. We settle areas of the planet as cities and towns, no longer on the move as before. Changes in health and longevity bring about changes in use of the lands and our sources of water. We develop methods of returning to the soil much need nutrients that plants consume through the use of commercial fertilizers.

We develop methods of bringing bad water up to consumable standards. Today’s solution, in keeping with historical approaches, is two fold. Mechanically clean the water and conserve the supply. A reasonable approach, for some. Not so for others. What is of significant importance is who and how will manage these issues. The main issue for contamination is the presence of arsenic in the water. It is believed that arsenic can be hazardous to health. It occurs naturally in rocks and soil and from industrial uses as in farming where fertilizers are used.

Nitrates are also an issue but for now lets look at arsenic. First, arsenic can be removed by filtration at point of use filtration, meaning at the kitchen faucet. Pricing of these units can be found at They typically are priced from $110 to $200. Once installed they are maintained by the user.

Large treatment facilities run by private or government facilities require heavy financial investments in

infrastructure for delivery to point of use. There are also considerable ongoing costs for maintenance and personnel? Can you say expansion of government in rural areas to protect you from yourself?

Nye county created a water board with essentially great power over county growth and your lives. Since arsenic is such a great concern we need greater discussion on our approach to water purity and conservation. Nye County operates seventeen (17) water utilities. They are looking to add Pahrump utility owned by the Hafen family to service the development in Artesia. This is by all accounts a very well run utility and should remain so.

It appears that the objective of the Water board is to create a water and sewer utility for all of Pahrump making us number 18 in County run water districts with more in the planning. To the best of my knowledge there is no investigation by the board of alternatives to creating another government bureaucracy.

There needs to be a full independent examination of the current 17 water utilities being operated and

managed by Nye County to determine how they are being run, the costs for each one and future maintenance projections.

Until this is done and the information released to the public in Nye County there should be no further

movement on expanding these and other treatment facilities in the County.

Andrew Alberti Jr