Sunday, July 26, 2009

If you're going to SAA this year . . .

Downtown Austin, as seen across the Colorado River Lady Bird Lake from Zilker Metropolitan Park, early evening, 9 October 2005.

. . . you should know that central Texas is experiencing a severe drought. Water levels in the reservoirs that supply drinking water to Austin and surrounding communities have dropped so low that stolen cars dumped underwater years ago are now visible, and farmers and livestock are suffering terribly as a result of the heat and lack of rain. Anyone planning to spend time in Texas's beautiful Hill Country should note that snakes and other wild animals searching for water, food, and shelter from the heat are getting closer to humans than they would otherwise.

Given that sustainability is the theme of this year's annual meeting, let's try to minimize our impact on our host's finite natural resources. Although the City of Austin's drinking water supply seems safe, at least for now, those of us making the trek to Austin should probably make it a point to take quick showers, turn off the faucet while we're brushing our teeth or shaving, and request that our sheets and towels not be changed every day.

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