Each star’s a pool of water

My friends in Sonoma County are tapped out.

It’s hard to believe. When I was couch-surfing around Santa Rosa back in 1981, trying and failing to find newspaper work, the place felt downright soggy to me after a short tour of duty in Tucson.

Not any more, Skeeter. You already know about the fires. Now comes the drought, which is triggering both voluntary cutbacks in water use and a few mandatory restrictions.

Says Cotati Councilwoman Susan Harvey, chair of the region’s Water Advisory Committee:

“We just kind of have to hope that people will do the right thing. And if they don’t do the right thing, we will have to be more stringent. It’s always better to use the carrot than the stick.”

Here in the Duke City, meanwhile, John Fleck reports that the Rio Grande forecast has dropped yet again after what NRCS forecaster Angus Goodbody calls “an exceptionally dry April.”

Adds Fleck: “April was really our last chance for a late spring bailout.”

Hijo, madre. By the time Denis Villeneuve’s take on the Frank Herbert classic “Dune” hits the screen it’s liable to feel like a documentary.

• In other news: It’s not just that we don’t know where our water is coming from. We don’t even know where it’s going.

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18 Responses to “Each star’s a pool of water”

  1. Chris Says:

    Dry as a popcorn fart around here, as someone I know might say.
    And oh by the way, Frank Herbert worked at the Press Democrat before he took up fiction on a regular basis. Maybe it was a Sonoma County “dry season” that inspired “Dune.”
    Yer Humble Correspondent,
    Karat N. Schtick

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Bub, Cactus Ed Abbey likewise did a job of work around Aridzona and Noo Mesko, and nobody listened to him neither. ’Tis a foine time to be a free-range rumormonger rather than a county supervisor, que no? As per usual. …

  2. khal spencer Says:

    I think I will look for a secluded place in the yard to take a leak from now on, rather than flush the crapper.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting. Good luck to Chris and friends. I assume the problem will hit us folks in SE Arizona relying on aquifer water since there is not much recharging going on. Maybe that will convince a few more deniers that climate change is fixing to whup our ass but good. Nah, stupid is as stupid does, and stupid uses all the water until it is gone.

  4. Charley Says:

    Check Lake Mead

  5. John A Levy Says:

    The Cadillac Desert circa 1977 explains all the southwests problems
    Great book but nobody got their head out of their butts at the federal, state or local levels. Now there will be hell to pay the day the devil demands his due. Cheap Vegetables will be a thing of the past. Scary we waste more time on oil, coal, natural gas than we do on truly essential needs.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      John Fleck says we need to create a Western water syllabus. He suggests adding to the reading list “Governing the Commons,” by Elinor Ostrom, and “The Great Thirst,” by Norris Hundley. Anyone read these two?

      • khal spencer Says:

        I used Cadillac Desert for a segment of an Honors Geology 101 Class, but as John says, it may have been a good idea almost thirty years ago in the 1990’s. Part of what I was getting at back then was unsustainable or poor water management and in addition, the problems of groundwater pumping with heavy metals, metalloids, and stuff like selenium.

        John’s own book “Water Is For Fighting Over, and other Myths About Water in the West” is a good read. Somewhere I have both Fleck’s book and Reisner’s but its been a long time since I was doing something useful. I managed to miss Ostrom and Hundley.

        • Pat O’Brien Says:

          Word, Khal. Groundwater, aquifers are not “good to the last drop.” Contaminants settle near the bottom. Folks in the area around Wilcox in Cochise County are finding that out as they drill wells deeper.

  6. carl duellman Says:

    pouring cats and dogs here this morning. on the drive in to work there were several sprinkler systems making sure nothing got missed. i’d be happy to send you a few gallons.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, great, thanks. We can use it to put out the fires set by eejits in the bosque and the Santa Fe National Forest. Too bad there’s no State-sanctioned way to put out the eejits.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Yikes. Anyone who would start a campfire in these conditions is certainly an idiot. Flatlanders. There, I’ve given them a name, but ’em in a box, and now we can hate them all.

    • SAO' Says:

      I was about to make the same observation. Had the wettest April in ages, got over an inch over the last 48 hours. And yet you still see people with their sprinklers on.

      Folks at state and county level are asking people to only water twice a week. But it’s 100% honor system, and I guess you’re still OK if you water for 24 hours but only do it twice a week.

      I swear, in this neighborhood, the more degrees you have, the bigger an ignoramus you turn out to be. Got a dozen doctors living in my neighborhood, not one of them can set his sprinklers so they don’t spray into the street.

  7. Pat O’Brien Says:

    And to really get you to slap your forehead flat, we have this going on. Yep, billions with a B gallons of water drawn from the aquifer by Phoenix. That should be popular with its residents when the CAP water runs out.

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2015/11/03/montini-saudi-arabia-drought-arizona-hay/75116656/

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      And the story dates to 2015. I wonder how much Arizona water has ended up in Saudi cows.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Still going on in January 2019. Haven’t found anything about 2020 or this year, but I assume it is still going on. China and large corporate farms in the mix, as they are around Wilcox. You think the Arizona legislature is going to stop it? Nah, they’re too busy looking for bamboo in ballots.

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