In Oregon we are getting to vote on many things, one of which is Measure 76 which will amend Oregon's Constitution by continuing lottery funding for parks, beaches, wildlife habitat, and watershed protection beyond 2014. Measure 76 does not decrease funding from lottery funds to other areas, only maintaining the current 15%, which for 2011 is approx. $87 million dollars.
In Oregon you don't hear about a lack of water too often, but you do hear about watersheds being lost to development. I am particularly concerned about drinking water as I get my water from a well. 40 years ago when my family first moved out east of Salem we were surrounded by your typical farmland: wheat, grassseed, orchards, corn and berries. Today, Kuenzi Turf has cut down the black walnut orchard that sat for over 50 years down the road to make room for turf. Kuenzi Turf laid down vast sheets of plastic to fumigate the land to ready it for the turf. Kuenzi Turf uses vast amounts of water, pesticides, and fertilizers on much of the area surrounding my home. Kuenzi Turf has expanded to ornamentals for your landscaping needs. Turf, ornamentals none of which anyone needs to live, but which uses lots of chemicals to make your home look pretty.
While my concerns do not come close to the needs of families dealing with drought and lack of clean water it should be a warning to all that there are things in this world far more important than getting your house on the cover of Sunset or Home Beautiful.