Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

A water diversion at muni hall

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So, what exactly is it we do well again? Oh yeah, visitor satisfaction. We keep our company satisfied. That in itself is a stellar accomplishment in this summer of discontent.

I know, personally, satisfaction has been elusive since the ski hill closed down. I was really satisfied, in a sadomasochistic way, when I finally dug a well-embedded cedar sliver out of my palm. It took a penknife, patience, an elevated pain tolerance threshold I wasn't aware I possessed and several stiff recovery drinks but left me with the kind of warm glow only self-surgery can ignite.

Other than that, I was satisfied - okay, surprised - when a 24-foot seeing-eye putt careened into the final hole of a soggy round, an accomplishment that in most summers would only make me think about administering electroshock therapy to snap me out of whatever funk made me want to play golf to begin with.

So what the heck, if our visitors are satisfied, that isn't so bad, is it?

But instead of feeling like we're, well, accomplishing our entire reason for being, we are, instead, left with the kind of guilty feelings of shame more suited to having been caught in the bathroom doing the kinds of things the nuns warned us would inevitably lead to an eternity in perdition.

Why? We're water wasters.

The average person in Whistler uses - wastes - 558 litres of potable water each and every day... including the relentlessly rainy ones. There are, in case you were wondering, 27,986 average people in Whistler per day, at least that's how the math works out if we can believe the figure of 5.7 billion litres of water used per year.

Do you find that number shocking? Is it any less shocking to know that's one whole litre per person per day less than waterlogged Whistlerites consumed in 2003? Compared to those halcyon days, we're practically dyin' of thirst. What, it's only one litre? True. But 2010's consumption was only three litres per day higher than 2009 and only four per day more than 2008. Considering the horror with which this trend away from The Vision was received at council when the Centre for Sustainability delivered the 2010 Whistler 2020 Monitoring Report, one is left with the impression that, like spermatozoa, every litre is sacred.

Who's using all that water? We don't know. But then, let us remember it wasn't too long ago we finally discovered there were swimming pools at Whistler hotels. Okay, we knew they were there; we just forgot to bill them for the water to fill those pools.

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