Archive for April, 2015

…about that water.

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

It turns out, nobody’s any good at long term weather forecasting. I’ve been worried about my well going dry and I’d like to know how much it will be raining in the future. But there’s no telling.

Typically, when uncertain, I plan for the worst. The worst here, I suppose, would be no rain at all. But that’s like anticipating a global super virus. It’s hard to agree with death, so mostly we act like we’ll live forever.

Next worst thing would be lots less rain. Still some, just lots less. For this, I’ve thought extensively about digging a pond.

My neighbors will think I’m crazy. My friends will listen, and believe what they see. But here’s the thing: everyone agrees the well might run dry. Anyway, I’m not yet convinced that it won’t.

I try to imagine myself a ‘rational man;’ to consider what he would do in this situation. Normally, I’d say, ‘Assess the problem.’ But there’s no persuasive assessment of when this dryness might happen. It remains a devastating possibility. I wonder if I can insure against it.

Problem is, the drought fear is general, so everyone is infected by it. Conversations are met with uncertainties, usually dramatized as forceful opinions. Most people think the drought will simply end. No-one but me thinks seriously about catching their annual requirement from the sky.

So I think it alone.

With my wife and kids – using all these high water-efficiency appliances, I require a hundred-fifty gallons a day in my house. Aside from the appliances, we make no effort to conserve – so surely we could cut that to one hundred.

I can build a thirty-six thousand gallon cement tank outside my bedroom window. Filled once a year, I’ll have all the water my house needs. By any math I know (and unless it stops raining entirely), I could catch enough rain in my little pond to fill my big tank once a year in winter.

But perhaps I’m over-reacting to the drought hysteria. Perhaps the ‘most’ of the voices, repeating the easiest thing to believe – will be right!

The immensity of the pond project is intimidating. I’ve met a few guys who talk about fissures and depths of wells; had geology-laced conversations with people drinking from wells themselves. These talks are re-assuring, and we all tell ourselves the rain will come again.

Almost effortlessly, I move from thinking about water running out – to thinking about what I want to do with water. And this is much more pleasant!

I want the pond to swim in. Indeed, rather more like a pool than a pond. I want water for the many bushes and trees I’m planting; for the flowers the women love so much.

So instead of using my pond to survive an unlikely drought, then, I’ve simply added pond expertise to my over-all water-planning strategy!

Since I’m after a pool as much as a pond, it’s now for entertainment; for health – it’s necessary. And where it’s located, there really is no source right now but rainfall – no creek, no spring.

One thing I’ve learned is that a pond around here evaporates at a foot per month. So if it’s ten feet deep (and I take a foot a month for myself) the water simply can’t last a long summer. But now it’s my swimming pool and I need to fill it at the end of the dry season.

What to do?

In an excellent metaphor for understanding so much of my world today, at the end of my researches into how to survive if my pump starts pulling sand – I’ve decided to drill another well.