At a recent Parsippany budget meeting of the Township Council the utility of Knoll Golf came up, Councilman dePierro avid golfer and promoter of the pastime, proposed we use our unused water charges to supply Knoll with water.
Knoll was forgiven a $131,000 water bill back in 2012 as a favor, so the Knoll does already tax our Regional water Resources, as they maintain their artificial landscapes with fertilizers and herbicides.
They also pay workers for the intensive landscape labor required to maintain this unnatural realm. Our Parks & Forestry Department has even on occasion helped out there. It then becomes hard to believe the Utility does not extract other tax payer monies, at the very least in some share of overall Committee funding. It was also suggested Open Space Monies be used for a Knoll driving range.
Imagine what allowing the Knoll Golf Club to take water tax payers fund to water their artificial landscapes will do to the mandates or attempts at water conservation? Pushing the limits of maximum use for water paid for under an agreement of minimum usage forced on Parsippany because of not having enough water for required usage;a deficit. This a violation of the Public Trust in not ensuring water is used for necessary needs and stays publicly; not privately owned. This endeavor would surely deplete water resources available under a sustainable model of usage and needs, now and into the future. It would also conclude most likely with raises in water fee and sewage fees. The 2 addition private water agencies now supplying Parsippany are due to a previous deficit in water caused by over development, usage and accumulated impervious surfaces depleting recharge of ground water and pollution from stormwater run-off causing addition water treatment for various impurities and chemicals.
The present phenomena of the bottled water on many grocery lists in a reflection in the lack of trust in our municipal water supplies. This phenomenon takes water from other aquifers and surface water sources depriving other localities of their water, another violation of the Water as Public Trust Law of human heritage. These plastic water bottles are evident everywhere as litter upon our landscapes and tax our municipal solid waste resources costing tax payers even more.
Tomorrow not today must be acknowledged as a management best practice when dealing with water a finite source, for it is not only water but its contents, slow but sure seepage of various contaminants, examples like Toms River and Love Canal. These episodes of environmental history and tragedy seem to have been forgotten. Water must also not been seen as a commodity but a resource given to all by creation. No price can really be used as judgments of cheap verses expensive. Water however becomes more and more expensive as we develop and tax its needs, spoil its purity and allow privatization away from public ownership.
Right now Parsippany pays just for one of its two sources of diverted water, JCMUA & MCMUA $220,000 a year, to avoid a shortfall or water deficit. This price can go up anytime, and most likely in drought situations. A drought may cut Parsippany off from these sources, for it must be realized these water sources are shared within and outside the region.
Here is what is disturbing even more in a sense of people, land and sustainability. Parsippany is part of the New Jersey Highlands where most of the State’s Water is derived for at least 65% of the rest of the State. Being, living here should inspire us with this realization of responsibility in the Regions Water Resources. Elements in Parsippany and elsewhere within the State play down this responsibility and fact of life. We as citizens of the Highlands should desire to do everything possible to maintain a covenant with the land knowing it is in our best future interest. Water is a Public Trust its future is slipping away. Market forces who wish to ignore the fact that endless allocation of resources without thought of sustainability will bring about a future filled with accumulative negative impacts and complications, who will pay? You, your children with their health and taxes, those who caused it all will walk away with their profits and bottled water.
Back to the Knoll so we have a golf course depleting water, we have costs in landscaping involving chemicals, we have addition trash and litter problems. Let us say use of open space funding and allowing more water to go to this enterprise of a non-passive, select form of recreation, has reached the level of a breach of public trust; for not only was the suggestion of additional public water resources given, but that Open Space Funding be taken for a driving range. No Way Must This Come To Pass.
Three main elements of society are Tradition, Community, and the Past. All reflected in our landscapes. Shall all these elements be centered and expressed in Golf?
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