Skookum Bill Busacca presented his research on water quality and quantity needs around the world.  A few highlights:   Glacial ice loss is as high as 50% in the Andes during the last half century.  Ground water depletion is soaring on the Ogallala aquifer.  Approximately 4 Billion people depend on the Himalayan glaciers for water.  
 
The transfer of water to bottling companies and other watersheds is real.  In Hood Canal, water is piped from the Seabeck area to Kingston to fill the water needs of that community.  At one point water rights were sold to a company for bottling and they proposed transporting the water to California in large bladders floated down the west coast.  Also, the Union River has been impounded to form  the Cassad Dam, a drinking water source for Bremerton.  The impoundment holds 1.4 Billion gallons of water and provides 60% of the water needed in the City of Bremerton.  As we struggle with water quality issues in Hood Canal one wonders what would happen if all of the diverted water was placed back  into the streams and aquifer.  
 
Curious about the quality of the water that you drink?  For registered water systems in Mason County you should receive an annual report from your water purveyor.  If you own your own well, it is important to test the well annual for bacteria.  You can also test it for other constituents like chromium, lead, iron, etc.  For more information check out this handy EPA drinking water bulletin.  http://amtestlab.com/prices/wellinfo.pdf
 
The Skokomish River is currently flooding, roads and shellfish areas are closed with daily rain totals over 1.25 inches.  Some Puget Sound sewage treatment plants are overflowing too.  Data on the Skokomish River flooding is found on the NOAA weather site - https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?gage=srpw1&wfo=sew
 
Water is essential to life, our community and is one of the corner stones of OysterFest.