I’ve been saying — loudly and frequently — that we are having a drought. This is the dryest summer I can remember. As a photographer, I’ve spent a lot of time around dams and other waterways. All of the dams are locked down and many of the riverbeds and ponds are dry.

Today, our well went dry.

We don’t have the option of “city water.” There is no city water in this area. We had the well guy here and he said our well is empty. We did have a stuck flap on a toilet and that’s probably what ran the well out … but the well had to already be very low for that to empty the entire well.

If the well doesn’t refill, if it has gone dry, there are just two choices: drill a new well or hydro-fracking.

Our well is very deep, about 475 feet. We don’t have enough money — or credit — to drill a new well on the property. The price tag for that starts at around $5,000 and goes up from there. That’s more money than we have in savings or credit combined. What’s left? For about half of everything we have in the world, or about $3,000 (that’s the bottom line it will probably cost more), we can hydro-fracture our well.

Hydro-fracking is a process of injecting water under high pressure into the bedrock foundation around a well to flush out fine particles and rock fragments from existing bedrock fractures, or increase the size of existing fractures. 99% of the time, this results in an increased flow of water into the well.


Well fracturing can also be used — and this is our situation — on older wells that have lost their recovery rates over time, usually because of mineralization (iron deposits — we have an iron deposit issue here we have always known about) and incrustation (silt and sediment) of rock fractures.

One way or another, it doesn’t sound like we are going to get out of this with what is left to us intact. I am so unhappy and frightened. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m sure everyone will be very sympathetic. Our problem is financial and unless we can come up with enough money to fix the well, we will be homeless. Soon. This is not an “eventually” kind of problem. You cannot live long without water. Maybe a week, tops.

I am terrified. We are in trouble and there is nowhere to turn.

On the suggestion of some friends, I’m going to try and raise some money. To say how painful this is to my pride is impossible to explain. If I could see any other choice, I’d take it.


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Categories: Blackstone River, Dams and Waterfalls, Nature, Water

Tags: , , , , , , ,

47 replies

  1. God: “Hmmmm … OK take their water away now.”

    if i had the loot id send it to you.


  2. That sounds nasty, I’d hate to be in a situation like that. Fingers crossed for some mega-rain, though I guess it would have to be floods to replenish the water table and such.


    • Actually, some good, steady soaking rain would do the job. The kind of rain we normally get in this part of the world and which has been missing in action for a year. We haven’t reached the level of drought of the southwest and California, but if we don’t start getting some serious rain — not these 1 hour sprinkles — we aren’t going to be the only people in trouble. It will be everyone. And this not being an arid zone, we are not organized to deal with drought.


  3. Just sent a small contribution – sorry it can’t be more, but I hope every little bit helps.


  4. How utterly frightening for you!
    Droughts are not fun, even when they haven’t been acknowledged as such. I hope you can make a plan.
    I don’t know much (anything) about the weather where you live but I once lived in an area where rainfall was an uncommon event. We had a system where we caught the rain that fell on the roof and diverted it into tanks at the bottom of the drain pipes and we used this water when the borehole levels were low.


    • This region, the problem typically is too MUCH water. Flooding is common. Drought is NOT common. Massachusetts and this area of Massachusetts — we are THE watershed for this part of New England and if we are this dry, it bodes ill for everyone. It’s not like the aquifer belongs to one person, area, or even region. These underground waterways are a network from which EVERYONE gets their water and when they start to dry out … if they really dry out …whole regions become unlivable. Think dustbowl in the 1930s.


  5. Reblogged this on Sunday Night Blog and commented:

    We all need water!


  6. And I thought that it was a California issue. You’re right, though, this summer in New England has been dry.
    Do you have a neighbor with a well? I’m just asking because for a while we shared a well with neighbors until we got our own. Amazingly some wells can still have water even when their close neighbor doesn’t.
    In California water is currently delivered in the central part of the state where the drought has also dried many wells. Is your town providing any support? Or even the state? I am so sorry to read about your problem.


    • As far as I know, we are on our own. We don’t have an “official” drought. We’re just having “an unusually dry” year. Even with the melt off from winter, we’ve been low on rainfall since the summer of 2013 — a full year. Now we are beginning to feel it. This is normally such a water-rich area, I know everyone has been telling me “it can’t happen here.” We are also the watershed for the entire state and parts of Connecticut too. An aquifer doesn’t know about state lines.

      The well guy said he’s visited a lot of homes where the well has run dry. He would know. Massachusetts will continue to pretend there’s no problem as long as possible. It’s cheaper that way.


  7. That’s terrible news Marilyn and I do hope you are able to raise some money. We’re lucky enough to be on town water but many people around here use rainwater tanks which sometimes run dry and they have to buy water. I’ve seen drought. It’s not good.


    • Drought in this region is incredibly rare. I don’t remember another one like it. The weather has been weird everywhere. This is such a nightmare for us. I think more arid areas are better at handling water shortages. This area usually has an over-abundance of water.


      • I think that is probably true, you are much more aware of the need to save water when it is not plentiful.


        • When I lived in Israel, everyone knew how precious water is. Prayers for rain were taken with great seriousness and we all waited with bated breath to see if it would rain on time. When finally, the rains came, we all began to breathe again. Here, every time I mentioned that we were short of rain, I got a flippant response. Most people just assumed I was making a big fuss about nothing … but I had seen the dry riverbeds and the receding swamps. That’s the thing about running around with a camera. The evidence is right in front of you, no matter how much everyone denies it.


  8. I have friends in California going through the same thing. I’ll send some of my raindancing your way (not that it’s helping them, but it’s all I’ve got)


  9. Oh my gosh! How terrible! I’ve started buying bottled water here..just to have in case our well goes dry…but it wouldn’t last us long.


  10. Oh Marilyn that is indeed frightening. Are you aware of
    you can create a fundraising campaign.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have been worrying about this very thing too. I was just thinking today that we need rain or wells will run dry soon. Very scary indeed. I don’t know what we’d do if that happened. I’d be scared too. All I can do is send some prayers your way and hope we get some rain very soon.


    • This is one of the nightmare scenarios. Hydro-fracking is probably our best line of offense … and we can’t wait long. This is not something that can wait while we figure out a clever solution. Thanks for the support. I know you are in a similar position and probably have similar nightmares. It has been so dry this whole year. Even the melting snow from last winter hardly helped.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Marilyn and Gary – I’m sorry that you are going through this. Have you considered opening a PayPal account so that we might make donations?


  13. Ouch!!! I hope it refills for you.


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Tish Farrell

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