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Water Major Facet of Sustainability

RECEIVED Mon., Nov. 19, 2012

Dear Editor,
    Richard Whittaker's article [“Green or Greenwash?,” News, Nov. 16] on whether the Formula One track, the races there, and/or associated buildings and activities might approach sustainability contained not one word about a major facet of sustainability in this region – water. Indeed, Austin essentially took water off the table as any part of discussions about how sustainable the whole Formula One experience might be made. Austin Water proposed, and City Council accepted without question, that all of us had to pay the $8.1 million to extend a large wastewater main to the track site to make the "waste" water generated there to go "away.” They quite consciously did this without the slightest consideration of creating a "waste" water management system for this venue focused on reusing that water on-site, something that runs in the direction of a "no-brainer" for an event-driven venue like this. I questioned a representative of the engineering company who worked out the wastewater line deal, asking why no other options were considered, and he responded quite directly that the line extension is all the city would discuss. So, when it comes to water resources, we don't even get to the question of whether this venue is "green" or "greenwashed.” Sustainability was just flat rejected as a consideration. Showing us all once again that, despite all its talk, when it comes to water, Austin is really faux-green. And from all appearances, not one single "environmentalist" in this community cares.
    More perspective on the sustainable water aspects of Formula One – and indeed in the entire SH 130 corridor – and how Austin refused to embrace them, choosing instead to thwart sustainability by extending and perpetuating its 19th century water infrastructure model, can be found at www.austineconetwork.com/blog/were-all-paying-big-waste-water.
Best regards,
David Venhuizen
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