WATER: My Conversation With Drew Wilson of Colorado State University Continues

Posted: June 4, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,


On another waterless day in Las Brisas I received a reply to my letter to Drew Wilson of Colorado State University. Since we address water issues and the effect of development on the scarce water supply of our community, I think this was appropriate. maybe even synchronistic, so I hastily wrote and sent my reply.

Below I have reprinted first Mr. Drew Wilson’s letter, then my most recent reply. I don’t know whether this conversation will bear any fruit but it is always good to get a better idea of what or with whom you are dealing so that you can take appropriate and effective action.

Drew Wilson

Michael,  Thank you for this well-written and thoughtful note.  It is refreshing to have someone who knows how to be respectful and write a powerful message at the same time.
> It must be very frustrating not to have any water in your casita for three days at a time. Its no wonder why many residents are so concerned about that subject.  We’ve also heard many fears, like yours around desalination plants.  Your concerns are duly noted. And while its too early to make promises, CSU has indeed prioritized programming that helps study water sources, and efficient water use.
> To answer your question: Land grant universities typically don’t take sides or “stances” on issues like you mentioned below. You likely wont see CSU at a protest march, online or public denunciation of any sort. That simply isn’t our  process our role.  Instead, we dedicate our resources to systematically and objectively researching, learning and developing solutions to the problems we study and uncover.
> I hope you’ll follow our progress, participate in our programs, collaborate with our students and professors, and help us help all residents on regional concerns for water, flora and fauna.  In fact, in the next week we can report on some of the agricultural work we are already involved in. Look for that on our blog and facebook pages soon.
> Lastly, we are developing a workshop series and very interested in your suggestions for subjects to build courses around.  I’d love to hear what you’d like to see CSU offer.
> Thanks again Michael.  Please stay in touch,
> Drew

My reply:

Hi Drew,
Thank you for your quick response to my letter. I don’t know if you are aware of the fact that Todos Santos could feel the double impact of a dangerous gold mine operation along with the huge planned development of MIRA on our water supply. So your work as problem solvers is cut out for you.

I don’t care much for hypothetical questions but your response to my concerns left me with the feeling that I should try to rephrase a question I have already asked. If after students and faculty “systematically and objectively” research, learn, and develop a solution to our water problems, they find that the solution is to limit or stop development before catastrophic ecological collapse occurs, would they make their findings known to Tres Santos and the Todos Santos Community, or allow their findings to be censored by their corporate patrons. In this day and age when scientists and politicians are bought and paid for by the über wealthy I think this is a legitimate concern.

I am not exactly sure of your position at CSU or how much influence you have with the powers that be, but I do hope that, for all involved, this will be a relationship built on transparency and honesty. Although you have stated that a “land grant university” does not engage in protest, I would hope that you might be able to offer information of use to this beleaguered community in its time of need. I am heartened by the recent rash of college divestiture from fossil fuels, and I am hoping more institutions will take this step. Though these are not exactly similar circumstances I do believe that we all must take a stand when confronted by those who are more motivated by the bottom line than concerned for the damage they do to community and habitat.

Although we will be returning to the States soon (after we see how we weather Lady Bianca), I will take you up on your invitation to see what is happening on campus. If there is a solution I would like to be a part of it.

Michael Fisher

  1. Michael, you so smart. Ima glada know ye.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s