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Does it flow like a river or not? Print

by Kris Hungenberg (Letters to Editor)
Greeley Tribune
February 17, 2008

The recent uranium mining article in the Feb. 10 Tribune was interesting.

One quote from Marion Loomis, the executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association, says that water underground just doesn't move as much as people think. "It's not like underground rivers down there," he said.

Many compare the aquifers to sponges that don't allow for a free flow of water underground. How ironic. If you happen to be a farmer in this county, then you'd know about the political water grab and that the one fact they've based their case on is that the aquifer is an underground river connected to the South Platte and that pumping irrigation wells in this area is hurting senior water rights holders down river.

According to Loomis, aquifer water doesn't travel very far. Here in Weld County, wells many miles from the river have been shut down. Both views can't be correct. It seems to me that if you have enough money, you can twist the facts to fit your agenda.

For uranium mining, it doesn't matter if the aquifer travels or not. Any contamination is too much. For farmers, whether the aquifer travels or not is a huge issue. The way it stands, farmers are about to lose their livelihood.

There are two long-term consequences for putting farmers out of business. Our nation will become dependent on foreign food and eventually be involved in wars to secure that food much like foreign oil. Foreign countries use chemicals and pesticides not allowed here, meaning foreign food isn't as safe to eat. All this for the short-sighted goal of taking water and land from farmers for cities.

We need to stand up for what is right and stop politicians from selling out agriculture. And the time is now.

Kris Hungenberg lives in La Salle

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