Are the concerns over water in our region confusing to area residents? You bet.
Consider these recent events:
The village of Fredonia in April decided to not become a member of the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corp. Chadwick Bay would be the lead agency toward forming a regional water district for the northern part of the county.
From May through mid-July, the region suffers from a drought due to lack of rainfall. As of last week, the absence of precipitation led to the Fredonia reservoir levels being down 45 inches. Continued low levels, officials warn, may lead to water restrictions in the village.
To be safe, the village is purchasing water from the city of Dunkirk on a temporary basis to refill its tanks.
In addition to the drought, Fredonia continues to work with the town of Pomfret toward a contract on supplying water.
Though not endorsing Chadwick Bay's efforts, Fredonia already seems to be working toward being part of its own water district - even if they do not want to admit it - with Dunkirk and Pomfret.
But if the village is purchasing water from the city during a drought, how does it expect to be able to supply the town?
A larger, regional water district solves these problems - for all residents. However, stubborn traditions, leaders and mindsets of municipalities keep the status quo of separate water departments alive and well. And there is no question that status quo is costly as water rates in Fredonia are more expensive in most cases than those in Arizona.
The difference between us and Arizona is we have a Great Lake in our region while Arizona is a large desert. Even that cannot save us.
In the village of Fredonia, the rate for water is $2.92 per thousand gallons used. In Arizona, the rate varies from $1.57 to $3.02 per thousand gallons used. About 80 percent of Arizona residents, it should be noted, pay the $1.57 rate.
So while residents and municipalities deal with the drought, it is obvious our overabundance of government continues to soak us with high taxes, fees and water rates.