Letters to the Editor – Great Ideas!

Bryan Times, Sept. 10, 2018 (Paul Merillat, Aquifer challenge for Mr. Kidston, AOP) I have been reading what Mr. Kidston says about the ability to sustain a 15 percent to 18 percent on the draw on the aquifer.  He stated that it will be around 100 years or a 1,000 years from now.  He says he will drill test wells to determine the output and sustainability and will abort if not sustainable.  He is 99 percent sure it is capable.

I say testing a new well is an unfair test.  Here is why:  Let’s say I am late for work and drive my old 1960 truck 100 mph the 20 miles to work.  I say, “Boy, this old truck is really a good truck!”  Now I say to you, drive that old truck wide open to and from work for a year and see what happens to that old truck!

Sure the aquifer will show it can sustain the increased draw when it is full now, but you have to draw on it for a long period of time to see just how wide the depression cone is.  This may affect just Williams County.

The way I see it, the only people with flesh in the game are the users of the aquifer, with Mr. Kidston and the leased well providers making the money!

My challenge to Mr. Kidston, Artesian of Pioneer and the leased well owners is to put some flesh in the game also by signing a liability contract stating that if this project causes any harm to any wells and any users of the aquifer, that they pay, and any and all costs be made whole.  Even if they have to go all the way to Lake Erie to get us the water back that they pumped out.

Mr. Kidston, you say that pumping water to the different towns was, “the right thing to do.”

Now, I say sign a contract with the community that runs a bigger risk than you, that is “The right thing to do.”

I hope that our commissioners and others affected by this project demand this.

Besides, my understanding is that if the taking of water results in harm to your neighbors, it is illegal.

Mr. Kidston, maybe by signing a contract, it might sway some voters, knowing you have a commitment to the community.

Mr. Kidston and AOP, will you accept my challenge?

 

Bryan Times, Sept. 12, 2018 (James E. Hitchcock, Limit Michindoh aquifer pumping)  My Bachelor of Science is in Geology.  While in the Marine Corps a friend was from Oklahoma told me his family started “pinwheel” irrigation after World War II.  They got water at 300 feet.  By 1985, they had to drill to 3,000 feet to get water making the cost of drilling and pumping in the Ogallala aquifer uneconomical for irrigation.  Two years ago we were in Colorado and several articles in western newspapers were about past “controls” on use of groundwater in the Ogallala aquifer.  After a couple wet years the farmers wanted to pump out the “extra” water, but the ecologists wanted to restrict pumping of groundwater even more to let the aquifer refill.

“Climate change” people are concerned the world’s ocean water levels have risen more than the “ice melt” from polar ice would support.  Several researchers suspect that a large part of the oceans “additional” rise is due to the vast amount of groundwater that has been pumped out of groundwater aquifers around the world.

There is a worldwide debate going on about the effects of extensive depletion of groundwater.  No one knows the long-term ecological effects of excessive groundwater pumping.  No one knows how long it will take to replenish the groundwater that has been pumped out in the last 30 years.  Geology departments of the state universities should study the Michindoh aquifer.  No more ground water should be pumped than is replenished each year.

I wonder why Toledo takes its water out of Lake Erie rather than out of the Maumee River?  No one seems to be looking at the real culprit in the Lake Erie phosphorus situation.  Seed companies’ primary market for farm seeds is the Mississippi drainage basin where the “bad guy” is nitrogen.  High nitrogen levels are causing a dead space in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Maumee River drainage basin is so small by comparison that the seed companies have little to no interest in developing “low phosphorus” seeds.  Last year I received material from the Great Lakes Water Conference about ways to reduce phosphorus in Lake Erie; at the same time I received material from the seed companies saying the new generation of “high yield” seeds required more phosphorus and farmers should increase their application of it.

The Toledo area municipalities should consider suing the seed companies or putting pressure on Ohio State University, Indiana University and Michigan State agriculture departments to research the issue and develop “low phosphorus” seeds, and look into building a pipeline to the Atlantic Ocean with a desalination plant in Williams County.

In the meantime, we need to limit pumping so the levels of groundwater in the Michindoh aquifer do not decline.

 

Bryan Times, Oct. 11, 2018 (Dolores Whitman, We oppose the Michindoh plan)  I would like to thank Ed Kidston for creating a situation which has opened the eyes of our community!
Without his actions, we would still not realize we are sitting on a priceless treasure over which we should be constant stewards.

I would also like to thank our elected officials who have assured us that the regulators in Columbus (Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources) will allow their investigative procedures to proceed as they consider the proposed water withdrawal.  We will get our chance to witness the “EPA Hearing,” which is merely a release valve for our anger and opposition.  We know that hearings are merely tools of the system, which is set up to enable commerce to proceed unfettered by the concerns of citizens.

How do we know this?  Just think about all the thousands of Ohioans who were threatened by fracking wells, injection wells, miles of pipelines, compressor stations, factory farms, and landfills.  They pleaded at EPA hearings but were told that federal and state laws prevented local control.  The regulators merely enforced the law.

You may argue that all this infrastructure is necessary to supply the utilities we humans rely on for our daily lives.  Yes, energy and food are requirements for life, but the harm created by the profit-driven development of these programs falls on us and our descendants, while the profit is grabbed by the few.

The harm we in northwest Ohio could realize if our Michindoh aquifer is strained beyond its limits to supply water for Toledo suburbs will definitely fall on our descendants.  It is for them that we protest.

In spite of the danger this Michindoh issue presents to our health and economy in northwest Ohio, we need to recognize it for one benefit:  It presents an opportunity for an expansion of consciousness.  We human beings have allowed ourselves to be herded like sheep who trust in the benevolence of their owner (our governmental structure).  We need to WAKE UP!  We are sovereign souls with connections to the Infinite Source, to one another, and to all of life.

We need to know the truth about our “system” of governance.  Only then can we stand apart from it as sovereign individuals.  In knowledge there is power.

Bryan Times, Oct. 18, 2018 (Michael I. Corwin, What happened to our water?)  On entering Bryan, Ohio, there was a sign shaped like the state of Ohio that said Bryan was called Fountain City because of all the artesian wells it had.  Now I can’t find the sign.  What happened?  Growing up in Bryan, I would go by houses with artesian water wells flowing.  Today those artesian wells don’t flow.  What happened?

It used to be that the water table was restocked by water and rainfall going into the ground.  Now someone wants to bypass our drainage and drill into the aquifer and ship our water to somewhere else.  What would happen?

 

Bryan Times, Oct. 23, 2018 (Madelon Salsbury, Send message Nov. 6 with our vote)  Ed Kidston’s plan (to drill into the Michindoh aquifer) is going forward despite so many courageous and inspiring protests by citizens in and around Williams County.

We all know current law allows Artesian of Pioneer to drill into and pump millions of gallons of our aquifer to communities to the east.  Unfortunately, we have not received any help from our current state legislators to stop this from happening.

These representatives have been aware of Kidston’s plan for months.  They are also very aware that the majority of people who live and depend on the aquifer are against AOP’s plan.

We have made hundreds of phone calls, written letters, sent emails and signed petitions in opposition to the privatization and selling of our waters outside the aquifer’s boundaries.

Knowing this, our representatives remain silent and refuse to introduce or pass legislation to protect our groundwater.

So today I am calling for all citizens who live over the aquifer to join me and others on Nov. 6 and send a message that will be heard loud in the halls of the State Capitol building in Columbus.

That message is our vote on election day.

It is our act of protest and response to them ignoring our plea for help.  We must not be foolish and return them to their ivory towers as our community is sacrificed.

Please join with me and remove the foot off our neck and voices.

We must stand together one more time and ignore their calls for re-election, just as they have ignored our calls for help.

We must vote for candidates who have stood alongside us on the streets at protest rallies.

Thank you.

 

Bryan Times, Oct. 25, 2018 (Dennis Harr, Water less important than Issue 1?)  To my surprise, on the front of today’s paper (The Bryan Times, Oct. 23, “Local officials oppose Issue 1”), virtually all of the current office holders were standing on the courthouse steps in Bryan.  They had come together for a photo op and to publicly announce their said opposition to state Issue 1.

Jim Hoops said opposition to state Issue 1 was bipartisan.  Rob McColley sai it would be an absolute, utter disaster for Ohio.

Here is my question:  All these same elected officials have seen hundreds of Protect Our Water signs around the county, and are aware of the thousands of names signed on petitions opposing Artesian of Pioneer’s plan and that several townships and villages passed resolutions in opposition to privatize and sell our aquifer water to Toledo-area communities.

So how is it that these same officials can come together on the courthouse square in Bryan, Ohio, and not publicly declare their opposition to AOP’s plan?  It gives me pause and question how this was not as pressing as Issue 1.

This would have been a great opportunity to show our community that we are not alone in our fight to protect our aquifer.

Could it be the party’s campaign contributors’ voices are much louder than the citizens’ voices in our community.

I suggest we think about that come Nov. 6.