Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cool, Clear Water


That's it. That's the water supply for the city of Willits, photographed on the last day of August. Adding to the drama, there was a vulture up in that snag, sunning himself. The City has already declared a Phase II Water Emergency, with limits on the days and hours residential users can irrigate. If those measures don't work soon, the City will have to go to Phase III, which puts strict caps on daily water use for residences, and scaled cuts for other users. Our water supply now is at the level we were at a month later in the year, last year, which was also too dry. Let's hope the rain comes back on schedule (November?), because we have very little wiggle room.

16 comments:

Laurie said...

We're facing perilous times down here, too. What a beautiful yet powerful image you chose to illustrate a serious point.

You think we should start doing rain dances? COuldn't hurt, right?

JM said...

That's a beautiful photo of a very dramatic situation!... Hope you will have some rain very soon!

Virginia said...

Ouch. We were there last summer. Your photo is a perfect illustration today. I will do a little rain jig for you.

Hilda said...

Oh no. I hope it rains even before they're scheduled to come. I know how difficult it is when water has to be rationed — it's happened here in Manila several times since we got married. And every summer, we always face that particular threat, when our reservoir gets below the safety line.

altadenahiker said...

Haunting photos. Thank you. I think I'm going to set up a roof-water capture system, and perhaps redirect water that goes down my sink drains. Desperate times.

Halcyon said...

Oh goodness! I'd be happy to send you some of the rain we're getting here in the wake of Gustav. Last week we were soaked by Faye and it looks like another one is on the way.

Hope the conservation efforts will help.

Kelly said...

You know, I given our water awareness campaign here in Geneva, situations like yours are beginning to grab my attention more and more. It is a serious issue that more of us are going to have to face, rather than taking the availability of our resources for granted.

On a lighter note, I do know where you can get a few rain barrels in time for the November rains...

Chuck Pefley said...

Unless that is very deep, it has the appearance of a puddle. Not much to build one's confidence that water will continue to run from the tap. Hope your weather changes soon, but not too drastically! I'm remembering the caution "be careful what you wish for".

Jackie said...

Wow - that does look very low! I wish I could ship some of my rain over - we have it in abundance. Hope the various rain dances do the trick!

Petrea said...

A gorgeous photo to illustrate an ugly possibility. Your eye is unfailing.

PJ said...

Elaine,
We just finished up the rain from Gustav this morning but with it came tornadoes, right here in my neighborhood so I stayed home today. It seems when it comes to the weather we never get what we want. I just try to treasure the good days. We may have caught up with our water shortage with this storm and I just wish we could somehow send something your way.

Sara N said...

Hi Elaine,
Here is dry,too.we have a same problem!
visit our blog,I recovered my Mecca's photos ;)

USelaine said...

Laurie - It couldn't hurt, but try not to break a sweat, or you'll have to drink more water.

JM - I hope so too.

Virginia - I heard about the southeastern drought, and I was very surprised. My memories of Alabama in summer involved lush greenery and intense humidity. (I was there for 4th of July in 1997, visiting cousins.)

Hilda - We have had traces of rain twice in the last month, but it has to be enough to saturate the ground before it will offer any runoff. I hope we get something in October.

AH - Cisterns would be a great idea here too. I think more people will explore that this winter.

Halcyon - It's always too little or too much! We had flooding here a couple of winters ago. It wasn't home-destroying, but several streets turned into braids of the local creek system, and had to be closed to cars.

Kelly - I wish I could get something like that started here. We have a pretty high concentration of artists. I'll bring it up with the mayor next time I see her.

Chuck - It's a sobering sight. I like living in a place that's self-sustaining when it comes to water, good years or bad, unlike San Francisco or Los Angeles. If we can get to the point of self-sustaining food and energy, it will be even better.

Jackie - Water rights have been a contentious issue in the western US for about 150 years, with no end in sight. There was an attempt by one company to arrange to "harvest" fresh water from just above the mouths of some coastal rivers in our county (and ship it away to So Cal!), but the environmental opposition was quick to respond to that. But I know what you meant, and thanks for the thought.

P - Thank you.

PJ - Thanks to you too, but you just take care of what you can there, and batten down the hatches. I'm glad things aren't as bad as they could have been. Being a lifelong Californian, the idea of tornadoes is terrifying, and put that on top of a hurricane... I would freak out.

Sara - I'll take a look soon! Thanks!

Dina said...

Oi veh. And that's what our Sea of Galilee water supply will look like soon.
How do you always find places with such dire warning signs?? Don't you go tampering with that water now.

Ming the Merciless said...

Awesome photo! It reminds me of a Joshua tree in the desert...well, sorta. :-)

Good luck on the rain.

*Ming performing the rain dance in his bedroom and waking the neighbors downstairs*

Petrea said...

Keep it up, Ming, California needs you.