Our message to Martians: Use only what you need!

Scientists find more proof of water on Mars, and we hope our intergalactic neighbors use it wisely.

September 30, 2015 | By: Steve Snyder
Fictional billboard on Mars. Reads: Restaurant. Mars Motel. Use Only What You Need
Photo credit: James Marvin Phelps, Flickr Creative Commons. Photo has been altered.

This is another reason we love the water business!

You never know how our favorite life-sustaining substance is going to make the news. One day it’s the complete lack of water in California, the next it’s the discovery of more water on Mars. (And of course, the folks in Hollywood are already snarky about it.)

Earlier this week, scientists at NASA announced the strongest evidence yet of liquid water on Mars. There is even a Colorado connection to the story.

NASA scientists say this discovery lends further credence to the belief that Mars could possibly harbor some type of life form.

If that’s the case, we at Denver Water feel an extraterrestrial responsibility to provide the little green men on the red planet (or at the very least, Matt Damon) with a few tips and lessons learned about how to efficiently use water in a dry climate. (We figure Mars qualifies, since water vapor is present in the Martian atmosphere at a level 30 times less than on Earth.)

Tip #1: Educate customers about efficient water use. If they haven’t already, Martians may first want to establish a water utility. Next, that utility should make sure its customers understand how precious water is on the planet and why they should use it efficiently. Because Mars’ surface is a dry, barren wasteland marked by old volcanoes and impact craters and its average daily temperature is -81 degrees Fahrenheit, outdoor irrigation rules should not be an issue. Indoor use, however, is another matter, as apparently toilets in space have their own unique challenges.

Tip #2: Negotiate intergalactic compacts carefully. Since water in space seems to be as scarce as it is here in the Western U.S., Mars should be very careful about negotiating water-use compacts with its neighbors. You might have heard about our difficulties with the Colorado River Compact and how the river’s flows were over-allocated from the start. That has come back to bite us all. If Jupiter and Saturn come looking to share Mars’ new found water supply, Mars should be very wary. Just sayin’.

Tip #3: Manage growth effectively. Currently there is a lot of buzz about Mars. Sure, it’s just Matt Damon hanging out there now, but what if his buddy George Clooney comes up for a sequel? The next thing you know, Matthew McConaughey is making awful commercials up there. Then all bets are off! Point being, Mars has to handle growth in a smart, sustainable way so it can manage the extremely limited water resources effectively.

Tip #4: Account for all variables. At Denver Water, one variable we are currently dealing with is the recent phenomenon of dust accumulating on our mountain snowpack. This affects the way we plan for future water supplies. And since Mars has a bit more of an issue with dust than we do, perhaps they could help us out with that, if they are ever in our neck of the universe.

In summary, we are all in this together. It’s a great big universe, and there is only so much water to go around. If there are Martians, they are clearly at the beginning of a very long and difficult journey with the management of water on their planet. We hope some of these tips will help them avoid the mistakes we’ve made, so they can create a thriving, healthy planet that someday earthlings will want to visit — and dare we suggest, eventually take over!

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