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County making a committee to develop "ideas" for aquifer water. aka- restrictions coming  RSS feed

 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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But you can bet it won't be the commercial farmers they restrict. Obviously John Doe with his few acres, small garden and windblock row of trees is wasting all the water. Never mind that farmers here have been holding water over to sell to oil companies for fracking and of course, all the other ways they hurt the environment with their farming practices. It kind of makes me really really mad. They said that in 48 years they believe wells here will begin coming up dry. It's kind of terrifying.

So how big of a difference will my 40 acre water harvesting operation make do you think?? Will I be able to keep my own well full or not?? After all the planning and such I'm kind of thinking about moving.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Danielle - I wouldn't lose heart yet. First of all, there is time for people to change. Secondly, your 40 acres of water harvesting DO make a HUGE difference.

There is video after video of water harvesting on quite small areas (much, much smaller than 40 acres) having a huge impact on the land where it is implemented. One of the most recent is the swales Geoff Lawton visits with Brad Lancaster in the Sonoran desert outside of Tucson. These were put into place by the WPA and continue to flourish even though they are not even on contour and the area gets about 12" of rain and has extremely high temperatures for 4-5 months of the year.

Geoff also says of his project near the Dead Sea in Jordan, that he has created a perched aquifer under the trees that holds water under the ground at a level that the trees can access it. This was at his original "Greening the Desert" site. He also says in his class that it takes 3-7 years to fully rehydrate a landscape (depending on climate/soils).

Farmers have been able to fill their wells and create extra water for themselves and those downstream from them. Let your farm be the example.



 
elle sagenev
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:Danielle - I wouldn't lose heart yet. First of all, there is time for people to change. Secondly, your 40 acres of water harvesting DO make a HUGE difference.

There is video after video of water harvesting on quite small areas (much, much smaller than 40 acres) having a huge impact on the land where it is implemented. One of the most recent is the swales Geoff Lawton visits with Brad Lancaster in the Sonoran desert outside of Tucson. These were put into place by the WPA and continue to flourish even though they are not even on contour and the area gets about 12" of rain and has extremely high temperatures for 4-5 months of the year.

Geoff also says of his project near the Dead Sea in Jordan, that he has created a perched aquifer under the trees that holds water under the ground at a level that the trees can access it. This was at his original "Greening the Desert" site. He also says in his class that it takes 3-7 years to fully rehydrate a landscape (depending on climate/soils).

Farmers have been able to fill their wells and create extra water for themselves and those downstream from them. Let your farm be the example.


I'm not sure I can get ahead of the oil companies though. Plus, as I've stated previously, we are surrounded on all sides by wheat fields. So I'm just discouraged majorly. Also pissed off that the small time land holder is most likely going to be restricted/taxed now. Really burns my butter!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Yes - I wish the small farms were seen as our most valuable commodity. In some areas, that is changing. And the change needs to happen more quickly.
 
Bill Bradbury
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Hi Danielle,
Welcome to the brawl for water that has been going on in the west for 100 years. If you think you are angry now, read Marc Rissner's Cadillac Desert. I can only go a little ways in that book before becoming so annoyed that I have to go out and do something.
No, infiltration in this era will not recharge your aquifer sufficiently to make any appreciable difference. The water you are drinking is probably centuries or millenia old. We in the west have been operating at a water deficit for a long time. Much like our country's economy, we are borrowing from the future in order to live wastefully today.
If you are talking irrigation water restrictions, the best way around that is off peak irrigating by filling storage ponds in the spring and fall and irrigating from them when you are not getting any in the ditch.
My parents live in Utah's west desert, they can no longer irrigate, because the water table has dropped so low they pull up salt water.

 
elle sagenev
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Bill Bradbury wrote:Hi Danielle,
Welcome to the brawl for water that has been going on in the west for 100 years. If you think you are angry now, read Marc Rissner's Cadillac Desert. I can only go a little ways in that book before becoming so annoyed that I have to go out and do something.
No, infiltration in this era will not recharge your aquifer sufficiently to make any appreciable difference. The water you are drinking is probably centuries or millenia old. We in the west have been operating at a water deficit for a long time. Much like our country's economy, we are borrowing from the future in order to live wastefully today.
If you are talking irrigation water restrictions, the best way around that is off peak irrigating by filling storage ponds in the spring and fall and irrigating from them when you are not getting any in the ditch.
My parents live in Utah's west desert, they can no longer irrigate, because the water table has dropped so low they pull up salt water.



We don't have a ditch. We don't have any above ground water for miles around us. It's all underground. A lot of WY is like that. We aren't really wet. I am swaling and doing ponds. So maybe. Discouraged to hear you don't think I can maintain the water table though. Maybe if we go to 80 acres. Trying to buy the 40 next to us...maybe.
 
Charles Tarnard
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Do any of your neighbors share your view of the situation? Then snatch 'em up and get down to the county and let the officials know that you want to see the county pursue investment in water catchment.

Moving away isn't going to solve the problem in the area and if you run every time your local government does something you don't like you'll be running forever.

It's easy for me to say this as a guy who is terrible at networking and pursuing these kinds of changes, but the truth is the only way to change things is to get a large group of people together and lean.
 
elle sagenev
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Charles Tarnard wrote:Do any of your neighbors share your view of the situation? Then snatch 'em up and get down to the county and let them know that you want to see the county pursue investment in water catchment.

Moving away isn't going to solve the problem in the area and if you run every time your local government does something you don't like you'll be running forever.

It's easy for me to say this as a guy who is terrible at networking and pursuing these kinds of changes, but the truth is the only way to change things is to get a large group of people together and lean.


I do agree. I'd never be able to stop running. There's a lot more to it and I am a bit frustrated with it all. We've got an oil well going up close and we aren't sure if the stakes on the wheat field in front of us are indicating another one or not but if it is no way am I staying for that travesty. So all that and then this..... Sometimes I just wonder if it's worth the fight, ya know.
 
Charles Tarnard
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I think until you jump ship your best bet is to rally local support as best you can. Booting oil companies has been done in a few communities, it may yet be done in yours.

Good luck and I hope for the best.
 
elle sagenev
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Charles Tarnard wrote:I think until you jump ship your best bet is to rally local support as best you can. Booting oil companies has been done in a few communities, it may yet be done in yours.

Good luck and I hope for the best.


It won't. Private citizens in my area are a smaller amount than the large farmers. We had one of those large farmers, who parceled out the land we live on now, sue us and about 40 other people because they forgot to reserve the mineral rights. So we actually own our mineral rights but even then our lawyer explained to us the chance of preventing a well going up considering our small ownership of rights vs. the 640 mineral acres owned by the large farmer. The person with the most rights, wins. So we will profit from the well but it is the land and water based expense of that profit that worries me. Plus one of the awesome parts of our house is the uninterrupted view in front of us. If they put the well right there it'll be a blight on the land. I'm not too fond of the oil workers being that close to the house either.
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