THIS WATER BELONGS TO YOU AND ME: LIVING WITH GROUNDWATER

Today I saw that the toilets are not filling properly. I thought (I hoped) it was just my toilet, but it’s also Garry’s. We really need rain and soon. Two months with no rain is a very long time in this part of the world.

Sharing the aquifer like good people should

Having a well doesn’t mean you “own” the water. Groundwater in a watershed — which this is — is shared by everyone to whom it flows. A lot people don’t understand that any water they waste is also my water. We need to work together. This is what I wanted to draw when I woke up and I wanted it to go along with Woodie Guthrie’s song. This water was made for you and me. And truly it was. Is.



Categories: Anecdote, Ecology, Music, Water

Tags: , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. can’t but agree….. great video too!

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  2. I’ve recently seen equivalent photos of Lake Mead (behind Boulder Dam), which now looks like a river behind the concrete! The lake water was shared according to Federal rules from the 1930’s, but there is precious little lake water now — just a river running through it!

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    • A lot of people believe water on their property, whether it’s a well, pond, lake, stream, or river — is THEIRS. A lot of havoc was caused in the Wild West by people fencing off water from other people who had cattle and horses. Water belongs to EVERYONE. Unfortunately, with this gigantic drought that is currently extending from coast to coast, there’s so little water, no amount of sharing will solve the problem. Only rain in significant amounts will make a difference.

      We actually got a bit of rain last night. Not a lot because I never saw or heard rain. Not a major downpour. At least the plants and the deck got wet. It’s still cloudy. Maybe we’ll get more, though as I typed this, the sun came out.

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      • There were outright “water wars” a few years ago in the Santa Barbara area. The people down-river from Lake Cachuma were granted senior rights when the dam was built — when the lake was low, some in Solvang accused Santa Barbara of stealing their water! Luckily Santa Barbara brought up their desalination plant about that time, and needed less of the Cachuma water that was theirs, but it got a little ugly at times!

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        • A century ago, it was an actual shooting war in many arid areas of the west. Water is the bottom line for civilization. You can struggle along without many things, but not without water.

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          • Exactly — I hope it doesn’t become a shooting war again, but the potential is there this year!

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            • Where WE are, dryness was never a problem. Yes, summers have always been dryer than winter, but spring and fall were rainy and there was always a lot of snowmelt in the spring to fill up the groundwater. This is a long, hot, dry drought. It has lasted much longer than whatever “normal” is these days and we aren’t getting those big snowstorms in the winter, at least not for the past 5 years. Running out of water was never high on anyone’s worry list in the northeast, though for a while, running out of SAFE water was an issue. But we’ve cleaned up the water. Now, having enough water for crops or even simple things like washing your car are a problem. If you don’t count the absence of rain, it has (mostly) been a beautiful summer, though now we are into the hot and muggy part of the year. How we can have this much humidity and not get any rain puzzles me. I’m sure someone could explain it.

              I never thought we’d be having problems getting rain, but each year has been drier than the one before — for at least the past 15 years. It IS drying up. Talk about feeling helpless!

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          • Old Kevin Costner movie…WaterWorld.

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  3. So True, Marilyn. I’m very mindful of this, especially at the cottage where I pump up my water from an underground source.

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    • Ground water is by definition shared. The groundwater in this area is pretty substantial since this is the Blackstone Watershed and water from here goes all over eastern Massachusetts, part of northern Connecticut and Rhode Island. This is what most people don’t exactly “get.” Just because you have a well, you don’t “own” the water in it. You are sharing it with everyone else who has a well. In this part of New England, having wells is more normal than not. There isn’t much “town” water and really, they are pulling that water from wells too — just bigger wells. And that water is, as often as not, unsafe. At least our water is clean.

      It makes us all a bit edgy as this drought drags on. We need rain in the summer when things need to grow. Tons of rain in the winter fills the groundwater, but if all the crops, seeds, berries, etc. died in the summer, it will be a very long, hard winter for the creatures that depend on that food.

      Just seeing the ground and flowers wet this morning gave me a glimmer of hope. It’s the first time in many weeks I’ve seen evidence that we got enough rain to MAYBE help the plants stay alive.

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      • Fingers crossed Marilyn. We don’t have a well at the cottage. We have a standpoint pipe that we hammered down until we reached water, just over 20 feet. We draw up the water with a gas pump that fills our barrels. We never take our water up there for granted.

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        • You’re lucky you had water that close. Our well is more than 450 feet deep. But it just depends on where you are. Across the street, their well is just 40 feet deep and some people have trouble preventing the groundwater from flooding the basement.

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