I have been thinking hard about a concern that I was confronted with by an elderly neighbor a few weeks back. He wanted to know what the "real" implications of allowing natural gas drilling into his small rural town would be. He had attended many meetings and had only heard about the terrible things that drilling for natural gas can do and nothing about solutions. He wanted to know what happens in the "real" word, and what solutions are used. He knew there had to be solutions since people are still using natural gas.
Now, the term "real" has become a relative word; depending on who you talk to, reality differs. So, sifting through all the "real", "what could be” or “what ought-a-be" to find the "what is," is a big task. While following a lead, I found this story. It interested me because it depicts, at a different level, how objects/processes can be viewed as an obtrusion to residents even though the obtrusion may actually serve to benefit them.
The article is from Baltimore County, MD. Residents of Reisterstown and Owing Mills were upset when the County proposed putting up a water tower in their neighborhood forest.
Some quotes from the opposition of the tower (my thought are in italics):
“It’s in a highly populated residential area. It just doesn’t make any sense,” (Even though the water supply is to serve the populated residential area to improve their water quality and water availability)
“Public Works could sell the land and the proceeds could be used to purchase other land.” (Far from here, I am assuming)
“We’re not arguing reasons for the water tower”
“The reasons could be good, but the location is just inconsistent with the whole area.” (What if all areas felt the same way- then what next?)
According to a local official there is a need for the tower--, “An incident last year when a water pipe on Reisterstown Road broke and some residents were without water for three days further illustrates the need for the tower”
From the opposition group’s Facebook page: “I have been told that the parcel of land on the corner of Timber Grove road and Bond avenue that contains the rows of trees is scheduled to be deforested and replaced by a ~150' water tower by Baltimore County. This will drop all of our home property values because they could be seen for miles away and attract vandals to our neighborhood. The county told us the water tower is required to handle growth and provide increased fire protection. What they haven't told us is that it also happens to increase revenue by relying less on the water pumps.”
The reality here is that these residents need the water. No question about that. So, what are their solutions besides sending their water tower elsewhere?