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Auchter's Art: Taking care of all we have

John Auchter for Michigan Radio

Okay, I'll admit it. Whenever I see a story about the southwestern United States and their crisis with insufficient water, I can feel smug, maybe even a bit superior. As I write this, a significant rain is lashing at my window in my Michigan home. (I mean, it's January, and it should be snow, but that's for another environmental topic.)

So not having enough water is not a concern. Our skies are typically filled with clouds laden with precipitation, our sump pumps often strain to keep rising water tables in check, our many lakes surround us creating pleasant peninsulas. But that doesn't mean that we Michiganders don't have water concerns.

For us, our primary challenge is not the lack of water but properly taking care of all that we have.

PFAS contamination, for example, is a vexing problem. Two stories this past week reminded us all of this: The delay in the cleanup of a former industrial site near Grand Rapids, and new warnings to limit consumption of certain fish from some of our larger lakes.

With so much water, water everywhere (and lots and lots to drink), it's a little too easy to look down on the fools who insist on building new homes in deserts. Let us not be similar fools in how we manage and protect our water.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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