Let's study recycling water instead of building
The discussion about the replacement water tower is again focusing on the wrong issues. Where is the "do not build" option? Has the possibility of conserving sufficient water in the new developments downtown been fully explored?
For example, how many of the toilets/faucets in the area served are low-flow, and if they were, how much of the need would be eliminated? The University of Minnesota is a major research site for the reuse and repurposing of water resources — how about flushing the toilets in their new buildings with water from the Zumbro? After all, it is silly to spend the money we do to assure clean drinking water and then flush it.
When the city proposed conservation pricing for water, the anguish about the cost for businesses rang loud, but where are these same voices when the cost of new facilities are being considered, both the financial and aesthetic?
Target Field recycles rainfall and irrigation water. Major buildings throughout the country are being built to repurpose gray water. Capturing and reusing the rainfall hitting a multistory building is not only energy-saving but minimizes the infrastructure needed to collect and drain storm water. Look at that charge on your Rochester Public Utilities bill to see why we all should be concerned.
Clearly, the location discussion gives us the opportunity to revisit the project. Let's invite the U of M to do a major study on the area and water conservation, then we can talk about what needs to be built and where.