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.
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.
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.
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.