The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 14, 2013

Your View: Water is more vital than gas or oil

By Maynard Buland, Waseca

NORTH MANKATO — This letter is to comment about the wrong thinking of so many people. The most needed and vital commodity for life is not gas or oil. What is vital for all people, plants and animals is potable water.

Fracking to fill small cracks in rocks so oil and gas can be forced out also seals off rainwater and other fresh water, preventing it from soaking deep into the ground and replenishing water removed by wells.

Water is being used that has taken hundreds of years to accumulate. Fresh drinking water is much more scarce than oil or gas.

Look at the river that flows through Yellowstone -- its water is not wasted. It is used one way or another so that none ever reaches the ocean.

It seems to me that people refuse to carpool to save fuel, leave lights on in empty rooms and use land that is not suited for agriculture so irrigation methods are used to raise a crop. I have seen fields and lawns being irrigated even when it is raining.

Thank goodness forests are being replanted after trees are being cut down from coast to coast. Will water go the way of the buffalo, which once were thought to be of endless quantity?

I am 82 years old. Maybe I have seen too much of mankind's stupidity and foolishness.