I’m glad EW covered concerns about EWEB’s planned water storage tanks at 40th and Patterson (“A Quiet Place for Water,” 6/3). Here are more considerations.
The EWEB forest may be the nicest unprotected land remaining in the city of Eugene. The largest Doug-fir in the proposed clearcut is about 15 feet in circumference. EWEB also threatens Ponderosa pines, Oregon white oak and California black oak, plus a variety of native (and non-native) plants. In earlier times, there might already be people sitting in these trees to protect them.
There is an existing water tank at 52nd and Willamette, at higher elevation than Patterson Street. Extra water storage could easily be added to the south, in the publicly owned field next to the power line.
An unspoken part of EWEB’s plan is to facilitate overdevelopment. Some years ago EWEB built a water pipe to Veneta to irrigate more subdivisions. Lane County is plotting urbanization between Eugene, Veneta and Junction City. Plans to replace neighborhoods with soulless highrises along south Willamette were narrowly stopped a few years ago but overdevelopers are back, claiming that building more stuff will supposedly lower pollution. Orwellian greenwashing is greenhouse gaslighting. These plans require lots of water.
If existing tanks are really at the end of their life cycle, add a new one at 52nd and Willamette, convert the public’s EWEB forest to legally protected parkland and prepare for serious water conservation.
I recommend everyone visit our publicly owned but unprotected forest before the chainsaws and bulldozers do their worst.