Posts Tagged ‘groundwater’

Thank you, Colorado

I haven’t had much to say since my last post. Shortly after I put it up, I heard on the radio that due to lack of snowpack, we would still be in drought conditions with water restrictions come summer. I think it was the next day that the clouds moved in. Since then, it’s been overcast more often than not and it kinda feels like it snowed as many days in April as it did during the rest of the winter combined. We also got an inch or two on May Day. You know, the traditional day to celebrate spring?

As inconvenient as it is to be getting our snow when I should be turning over garden beds and planting my early plants, we do need the moisture. Naturally, I forgot to save the link, but I recently came across a local seed producer that closed their doors in 2011 due to lack of water. They were a small-scale grower, and working off of a house-sized well. The note they had up indicated that while the surrounding farms could still reach water with their farm-sized wells, there just wasn’t any water left at their level. Since I came across this note in early 2013, I think it’s safe to assume that they haven’t been able to resume operation.

Well, it sucks to be them, but as long as the big farms are still getting water, we’re cool, right? Not really. According to the UN, there’s enough water for 6 billion people. Well, we overshot that one. We are also in the habit of misusing and abusing the water that we do have. There are already places that are using oil wells to drill into “fossil aquifers.” I don’t believe we’re doing this in America, yet, but we just have to look to the Middle East and Africa to see what will happen if we run out of renewable sources of water. Once the fossil water is gone, it won’t be renewed within a human time-frame, if ever.

What does this actually mean? Humans, and most plants and animals, can not live without clean, unsalted water. That means that we need to figure out how to keep what we have and maybe how to make more. There are lots of ideas out there, and I am sure I’ll be looking into many of them more in-depth because water is such a big deal in the West. The idea for the moment, though, is to encourage water that falls in your yard to soak into the ground, instead of running off the surface. Dig holes, plant grass, plant trees. Anything to make the water stop long enough to soak in. If enough of us do this, we can affect the groundwater levels in a positive way, instead of a negative one.

The snow is nice, but it would be so much nicer against a properly blue sky.

The snow is nice, but it would be so much nicer against a properly blue sky.