Friday, August 20, 2010

View From The Ditch

WHISKEY OR WATER---What's your choice. Samuel Clemens, AKA, Mark Twain, said one time; Whiskey is for drinking, Water is for fighting over. Well, that is sure the thing here in the arid Southwest. Although the drink of choice may be beer. Which takes a lot of water to make. Not me, I'm not a drinking man, as far as alcohol drinks are concerned. I drink a lot of water, though. Still, do we know how blessed we are? My youngest lives on a big Island down under. Most people call it Australia. He lives not too far from a River. A big river. One that probably loses more water every day to evaporation than you can find in the whole of the Rio Grand. Still, they are in a drought, and under severe water restrictions. As in, they are allotted a certain amount of water a month, depending on the size of their family. This water allotment allows them to cook and clean, do laundry and a 4 minute shower a day. If they go over their allotted water amount, they pay 5 times the regular rate for the overage, and have to write the city why they went over. They are not allowed to have a water hose hooked up to an outdoor faucet. They are fined a large fine if caught. Not watering, just for having the hose hooked up. How we would holler if we were to be put under similar restrictions. Still, we do waste water. This year has been nice, with an unprecedented amount of rain, leaving the country side green and beautiful. A recent ruling has left the Southwest part of the State of New Mexico with 14,000 annual acre feet of water and millions of dollars to help use this water. Now, the people involved with getting the water distributed are having meeting's, for several months now, trying to decide what to do with the water and the money. I don't know how long they have to come to a decision, but meanwhile, the water is running downstream, to Arizona and California. Water rights put in place in New Mexico in the 1960's are hindering some of what is wanted to be done. So, trying to make the loss of those water rights whole, restoring previously irrigated lands back to production, ( the mentioned water rights prevent that ) addressing those with non consumptive wells so they can use domestic water out side of their house and the use of stock tanks, are some of the issues those deciding these water issues are looking at. Also, building a dam on a local river, ( the one that carries the water out of state ) to contain some of this water and use it to recharge the water table and for irrigation etc. are being discussed. One official, raised on a farm, has stated that those who farm get less for their water than most because they are mostly self sustained, while city dwellers get more of the benefit of those who farm and ranch. Well, Duh! like I didn't already know that. So stay tuned, more to come in future posts, as things develop. Oh! as to the Whiskey and Water thing mentioned at the start of this post. Whiskey is for fighting also, but those fights are usually spur of the drunken moment and over soon, while water fights build and build and continue for generations. And That Is The View From The Ditch Bank.

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