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Friday, November 8, 2019

Irrigation and Civilization



For thousands of years irrigation has made civilization possible in dry regions. This part of California is no different in that way. All around me I see green lawns, tall trees, high populations and busy activity. However, looking out over at the hills one sees lots of brown with strips of hardy evergreens. Lately we sometimes see smoke from not too distant fires.

Without irrigation the land could not support too many people. With it, farmers can grow enough food to feed a good sized segment of the country’s population. Civilizations have collapsed when their water supply failed. I don’t see that happening in the short term here in California. There’s too much invested in the region to give up on it. Politicians and engineers would move heaven and earth to repair a broken water supply.

Considering this is also earthquake country, that’s a good think. Personally, I feel a bit better knowing my daughter has some water storage in her apartment.

California is such a contrast from my home in Coos Country New Hampshire. The local Forest Rangers jokingly call it the “asbestos county.” Large forest fires are rare. We get a lot of rain and the area is full of natural ponds, lakes, streams and rivers.

My home has a well about 75 feet from the house that constantly overflows, even though it’s only about 5 feet deep. People are encouraged to store drinking water, but I really don’t have to bother with that at home.

Out here in the dry west, it really hits home how important emergency water storage can be.

-Sixbears

10 comments:

  1. Yes, be thankful for the well. Ours was 44 feet down and the idiot who bought the place filled it in.

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  2. A very informative and accurate read is the "Cadillac Desert". Heaven and earth have already been moved to get Ca. it's water at great expense and loss to others.
    Meanwhile the great aquifer in the Midwest, the Ogallala which consists of thousands of years of glacier water is FAST disappearing, soon to be gone. Then farmers will have a bigger problem....

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  3. The one thing I don't have to worry about here is clean water. Sometimes there is too much, in fact. I guess every region has different problems in the area of water fit to drink.

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    1. Good water filters help, but they can only do so much with really bad water. Lately it seems that your problem has been flooding rather than drought.

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  4. Even tho I have an artesian well with "drinkable" water. We still keep over two hundred gallons in storage which I rotate out twice a year.
    One rule in life living aboard a boat,..never rely on a single water source ever. We had four separate tanks on our boat.
    If your water source becomes contaminated. You most definitely do not want to foul that which is already in storage. Just like food, you rotate it out to always be assured of a safe source.

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    1. Good advice as usual Spud. I picked up some more water bricks for our winter travels. They aren't cheap, but are tough and a good size to handle.

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  5. Wouldn't a well that is only five feet deep get filled mostly with surface water that hadn't gone through enough earth to filter it? May easily get contaminated, wouldn't it?

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    1. It's basically where a spring rises out of the side of a hill. The source water is actually from fairly deep down. However, I do have to be careful to keep surface water out of it. To be on the safe side, there are also two whole house filters in the system.

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