Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Conserving Alabama's Water Resources: guest blog by John McMillan

One of the issues I have stressed during my campaign for Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries has been the need for more conservation and planning related to Alabama’s water resources.

We have taken the ample supply of water in our state for granted. This can no longer be the case as we face threats to our water supply from neighboring states as well as demands created by population growth, farming, manufacturing, and from other freshwater consumption.

Unlike some forms of energy, water does not have substitutes. We must take steps to better measure our water usage and educate our consumers on volume and cost.

There are also great opportunities available for water conservation in the area of treating wastewater. Great savings can be obtained by focusing efforts on recycling wastewater on-site at points of high-volume usage rather than moving these waters off-site for treatment.

Water conservation can be improved by monitoring soil moisture in urban parks, golf courses, and farm irrigation systems.

Another area for conservation of our water resources is in developing crops that need less water than current seed strains. Steps can be taken to avoid crops that are more moisture demanding in some areas of the state.

Alabama is also positioned to take advantage of our salt water access as desalination becomes more economically feasible.

As our state becomes more and more “thirsty” we need elected officials who will provide reasoned leadership in addressing the water issue to avoid unpleasant consequences and assure Alabama consumers, agribusiness, manufacturers, and recreational users of safe, economical and adequate water resources.

As Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries I will work to initiate the planning and conservation steps needed to address water resources through working with the Governor, legislature, state agencies, and other stakeholders.

Our campaign website (johnmcmillan2010.com) provides information on other important issues the next commissioner will face. I hope you will review my qualifications and positions and “hire” me with your vote and support to lead the department.

bio (excerpts from website): Alabama has been home to my family for six generations, and I am blessed with a legacy of strong people who have worked the land and enjoyed the many natural resources our state has to offer. My wife Kathryn and I met in high school and, this past July, celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. We have two sons, Murphy and William, and our wonderful daughter-in-law Beth. Murphy and Beth are the parents of our two grandchildren, El, 11 and John, 6, who continue to amaze us and make us proud. My life’s work has centered on agri-business, forest products, wildlife protection, natural resource management and the protection of private property rights. I love hunting, fishing and enjoying God’s good earth. And, one of my great joys now, is guiding young John toward the same love of the outdoors.

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