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LETTER: My Reply to the NH Water Sustainability Commission's Request For Public Comment

A letter to the editor was submitted by Windham resident Ken Eyring.

The following is a letter to the editor. To submit your own, email michael.ryan@patch.com

By Ken Eyring

The Water Sustainability Commission is seeking input from the public regarding management of NH's water over the next 25 years -- but unfortunately, they are not consistent with their collection methods.  They have published an online survey using Survey Monkey, and the questions are written in a way that can be easily skewed to support almost any conclusion.  There is no way to ensure the integrity of the results, since anyone can log on and take the survey multiple times.  In addition, from the beginning of July until July 19th, they accepted Public Comments without requiring identification. 

Because of the importance of water to so many aspects of our lives, including life itself, my concerns were elevated as it became clear that the commission perceives all NH water as property of the state -- disregarding our riparian water rights to the water in the wells on our personal property.

With all that in mind, I wanted to make sure I provided my concerns to the misguided direction the commission has taken since its inception -- and to encourage everyone else to do the same by using this email address: watersustainabilitycommission@gmail.com, or via US Mail to the address below.  The deadline to provide feedback is July 31st.

For your reference, you can look at their Meeting Minutes here:
http://www.nh.gov/water-sustainability/calendar/index.htm

Here is the letter that I sent:

Water Sustainability Commission
c/o Synchrony Advisors, LLC
10 Myrtle Street
Exeter, NH 03833
 
July 18, 2012


Dear Commissioners,
 
You have asked for public comment regarding “managing the water challenges faced by New Hampshire over the next 25 years.” 
 
I’ll begin by expressing my belief that everything you eventually propose to the Governor should be based upon respect for our Constitutional Rights.  In one of your recent meetings, one of your commissioners raised a concern for Constitutionality… and I was stunned to hear another commissioner dismiss those concerns by stating they will let the courts decide.  That is a reckless disregard of the responsibilities that you have been entrusted with.
 
Your commissioners have also made statements that disregard our riparian rights to the well water on our personal property.  Some examples include:
 
“Need to view water as a whole entity rather than whether it comes from a public system or private well.”
 
“Water is a state resource that belongs to the people – it needs to be worked on at that level.”
 
“Need to develop a collective sense of accountability for a resource so that people comprehend that sustainability can only be achieved with all working together.”
 
I disagree with these statements that the State should/does own all NH water.  
 
Part First, Article 2 of the NH Constitution states; “All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness.  Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.”
 
Water is an essential element for life.  I am deeply disturbed that your commission assumes the state must usurp my property rights to take control of my well water on my property.  Regulation of my well water translates into a direct regulation of my liberty.
 
When a state commission unilaterally decides, as yours has, that it has the authority to decide whether or not my right to my well water should be transformed into a regulated commodity… you have exceeded your charter – and our form of government has broken down.
 
From the beginning of your commission (from the spring of 2011), your commissioners have openly questioned individual property rights to our private well water.  The following excerpt is taken directly from your minutes; “Valuing water – there was much discussion about need to challenge basic assumptions about the cost vs. value of water – is it a commodity or right?”
 
Let me be clear.  It is a Right.
 
I’m am also disturbed that commissioners share a belief the water from our “private wells are too cheap”.  Am I not entitled to enjoy the inexpensive extraction of water from my well on a daily basis after spending thousands of dollars up front to gain access to it? 

This leads me to your commission's statement that people “need to think differently about accounting – what do people currently measure – how could they measure?”  Does this mean that you are/will consider pushing for legislation to have a meter placed on my private well in order to regulate my usage of my well water (that you consider the State's)?  This seems a logical assumption based upon the fact that your commission believes I am not the owner of the water in my well and that my water is currently too cheap.  I would like for you to respond to this question to my address above.
 
Additional concerns of mine are based upon the commission’s desire to impress a sense of “urgency” (your word) for a solution where a problem does not exist.  Your commission has previously stated multiple times that NH is a “water rich state”, and we currently have mechanisms in place to protect the quality of that water.
 
My suggestion for your proposal to the Governor is to leave well enough alone – especially here in Windham.  Each local community already has the resources and structure in place to manage their water needs, and there are already mechanisms for state help when towns have difficulty with water, e.g. assistance when there is flooding (emergency plan); or droughts (drought management plan); or potential contamination (DES, etc…).

Respectfully,
 
Ken Eyring
Windham, NH

Ted Sizer July 31, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Sam, some lack the ability to debate a topic logically and intellectually. You've only proven that to the rest of us.
John A Diefenbach July 31, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Re: Letter from Mr. Ken Eyring; July 25, 2010: Mr. Eyring raises many interesting points concerning not only who water REALLY belongs to, but the use of a [so-called] Survey Monkey that apparently raises questions that, in turn, questions the integrity of such a survey. As far as the wording of several statements: “Water is a state resource that belongs to the people – it needs to be worked on at that level.” “Need to develop a collective sense of accountability for a resource so that people comprehend that sustainability can only be achieved with all working together.” These statements, unfortunately, resemble those of some societies that still exist, although one of them, one commonly referred to as the USSR, has somewhat changed it's form of government...albeit slightly. The terms: "...belongs to the people..." and "...collective..." [Oh, I love that last one] were [are?] favorites that same Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), that are now shared with Cuba, North Korea, China and a few other assorted "states'. I thank Mr. Eyring of Windham, NH, for making me, and others, aware of this and I will be following the activities of the Water Sustainability Commission closely...very closely. Respectfully, John Diefenbach Mason, NH
Ken Eyring July 31, 2012 at 04:15 PM
FYI, I sent my original letter to all NH State Reps. and most NH State Senators. I received a reply from one representative that defended the confiscation of our well water to use as a state resource. http://windham.patch.com/articles/letter-nh-rep-justifies-taking-of-water-rights-from-property-owners
Martha Spalding November 13, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Alexis de Tocqueville (who knew nothing about Regional Planners or Sustainable Communities Initiative or Regional Equity Teams) warned America that if its spirit of free self-government were ever to be killed off, massive cities desperate for a centralized welfare state would strike the final blow. The ethic of individual free enterprise is key to our civil society where everyone regardless of ethnicity, religion or social status has the same rights to pursue self-improvement. This message is suppressed by the schemes of the Regional top-down planners. The Sustainable Communities Initiative crowd is after your property rights, your private wells, and public areas (they call collective or common). Democracy is an impediment to them. If they convince enough elected representatives in Towns and Cities to surrender sovereignty, they will call the shots instead of our elected representatives. The individual person will be subsumed under the concept of the "general will". The cities they planned have failed due to their insidious schemes, so they focus on suburbs. The ultimate goals of the Regional Planners/Sustainable Communities Initiative are the deprivation of your liberty and destruction of self-government so that you will be silenced while the already wealthy and well-connected get richer picking your pocket
ObserverNH November 13, 2012 at 01:04 PM
As we speak they are changing parking spaces into flower beds in Nashua. They don't want you to drive.. they want you to live in the city with no car, where you can be controlled. This is only the beginning. (The common person who knows nothing about this should question why a city that usually lacks enough parking would remove spaces instead of adding them.. think the GDP, or "Generally Dumb Public" as I call them, will figure it out?)

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