Jan Wright

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January, 2022

Recent Activity

Supported a comment by Shawn Sinacola on Resilient Washtenaw 5 months ago
Shawn Sinacola
Yes! I fully support this initiative. At Chelsea High School, students have constructed a large compost bin system on our school grounds. They remove food waste from the cafeteria and kitchen on a daily basis with 5 gallon pails. With a little bit of education and funding, all schools in our community could do their own on-site composting. Thank you for sharing the Local Self-Reliance site!
Supported a comment by Evan Pratt on Resilient Washtenaw 5 months, 1 week ago
Evan Pratt
One thing that is not obvious is that reduced water consumption would be a beneficial goal. While many agencies have invested in reduction of energy consumption with their water infrastructure, drinking water and wastewater treatment (and any pumping across the system) are typically the largest energy demand for any community/agency that provides those services. This can be 30 to 40% of the energy costs. (for the government agency as a whole) So reduced water use = reduced energy use. Second idea: On a related note, eliminating bottled water to the extent possible would be a huge benefit. HRWC provided data years ago that it takes 3x the energy to make the plastic bottle than to provide the water. And the Absopure facility in Plymouth Township just bottles Detroit/Great Lakes Authority water straight out of the pipe. A long-term promotion of this and other benefits of tap water (much more stringent sampling requirements than bottled) would be beneficial due to lingering effects of lead concerns along with other emerging contaminants. A lot more people do not trust their municipal water than even 10 years ago.
Supported a comment by Evan Pratt on Resilient Washtenaw 5 months, 1 week ago
Evan Pratt
It will be important to complement Carbon Neutrality goals with Climate Adaptation/Mitigation strategies. Some of those strategies will require significant investment in the built environment. Many readers may be aware that warmer air can absorb more moisture. So this is why increasing temperature graphs for the past 20-30 years are the same shape as graphs showing increases in peak rainfall. Many urbanized areas already had a need for improvements to reduce the severity and frequency of flooding from the documented and anticipated increase in rainfall intensities. Periodical statistical analyses of actual rainfall at hundreds of gauges across the state and regions have shown that from the 1960s to 2010s Washtenaw County saw a nearly 40% increase in peak rainfall, for storms with either a 1% or 10% chance of occurring in any year. Many folks say "100-year storm" and "10-year storm" respectively for these events. The majority of pipes and basins in urbanized parts of the County were built in that time period. So because it is true that it has been raining harder, AND many (if not most) systems were not designed to handle current rainfall, AND many more (if not most) systems will not be able to handle future 1% and 10% storms, there will need to be substantial investment in "gray" stormwater infrastructure, such as existing storage facilities. Future rainfall intensities have been conservatively forecast (in an MDOT/SEMCOG [very technical] study) to be ~70% more by end of century. Study here: https://semcog.org/plans-for-the-region/environment/climate-resilience
Commented on Resilient Washtenaw 5 months, 1 week ago
Support the expansion of a healthy, resilient local food system in which small and medium-sized farms can sell their food locally, benefitting both consumer and seller. The buy-protect-sell model proposed for the Washtenaw County greenbelt could be used to encourage more equity of ownership and more sustainable farming practices. Also as climate change affects food production, having local sources that require minimal transportation would benefit Washtenaw County. (The essence of this idea came from Al Connor) (See “New model for Ann Arbor greenbelt could make land more affordable to new farmers” MLive, March 6, 2022 for more about the buy-protect-sell model.)
Supported a comment by Nancy Stone on Resilient Washtenaw 5 months, 2 weeks ago
Nancy Stone
I'd like to see food composting pilots available throughout the county, such as at interested apartments, neighborhood clusters, schools, events, restaurants, etc. There are resources from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance www.ilsr.org for a range of tested imaginative options and training resources, and online certification programs available, such as for food scrap drop-off centers, small community/school compost operations, locally-owned truck or bicycle collection services, etc.
Commented on Resilient Washtenaw 5 months, 2 weeks ago
I hope the plan will include climate justice as a central focus--being sure resources are used in the parts of the county that can less-afford to pay for their own up-grades, mitigations etc. There's an organization called Michigan Alliance for Climate Justice whose platform speaks to these issues. https://www.majicnow.org/our-platform