l: Blog action day, 2010 – Water
I know that four families a couple of miles south of me ran out of water in their home wells. We live in an unincorporated area of a rural county, north central Oklahoma. Three of them “solved” their problem by switching to a community water line from the nearby town. The other cut down several pecan nut trees – and the water returned in their well. Around them there are a half-dozen houses for sale or at least empty. I wonder what will happen as new families move in, if any of those homes have home wells.
I put in a small garden this year – and bought a seep hose to water with. The pump electricity seems reasonable, and I can hear the submersible pump when it runs. I watered the garden between rains, and that seldom.
The pony and chickens don’t drink that much water. The pony’s tank is 200 gallons, 6′ by2′ by 2′ – and catches some of the rain. I keep goldfish in the tank to manage algae, so the water stays somewhat “fresh” without regular dump-and-scrub cleanings. In fact, the tank hasn’t been empty in 10 years, now. I siphon out part of the water with a shop-vac hose, vacuuming sludge off the bottom just like cleaning the under gravel filter on a home aquarium. That happens a time or two each summer. I let the water get down to 1/3rd full before filling, to reduce concentrating minerals from the water, etc. I dip water out for the
chickens and cats. Every once in awhile I consider catching water from the barn roof, but I haven’t, yet.
In California, they found that San Jose was build on a bed of sand. And as they used ground water – things sank. Buildings shifted and cracked. So they built Lexington Reservoir – to encourange rainwater to seep into the ground water. Arizona was getting into the “settling pond” routine when I left Phoenix in 1999. Back in Californial, they drained their Lexington Reservoir back in the early to mid 1980s, to do maintenance. Before they could refill the reservoir in the Los Gatos Mountains, a drought hit. The drought delayed refilling Lexington Reservoir for seven (7) years. About the time they refilled it – it was 1989. And the epicenter of that big October quake – was within three miles of the Lexington Reservoir. Likely the fault created surface features that made the place a good site for the reservoir, and the drought years likely had more to do with the quake than the empty reservoir. Likely.
And yet, like Susan reports in Texas, aquifers in Oklahoma are running lower than in the past, some of them. Wednesday the 4.1 quake in Noble, OK, was probably not related to changes in water usage, or to changes in global temperature. Probably.
Water is useful. I look at Hoover Dam, and the nearby Kaw Lake flood control district. And the South Fork Salt river. Could we put in some water wheels for generating electricity, in season, on modest farm creeks? Could we adapt water desalination to clear water purification, entirely powered by a modest creek? Dare we not?
I grew up on a Mennonite-build farm in Iowa. The house roof had gutters – that drained into a massive cistern. Could rain capture work for drinking water, for garden water? Amazon.com sells rain barrels for emergency use, for watering patio and garden plants. Someone must think so.