It's hard to believe that less than two months ago, Lake Arrowhead, our main city reservoir was down to 18%. In two weeks it filled to 100% and is going over the spillway! So are Lakes Kickapoo, Wichita and Diversion.
You can have a party if you want to -- but I'm just going to think about and talk about how wonderful it is, how incredible it feels to have water in our lakes again. It's just good for the soul.
I realize that lots of folks are not high and dry during all this rain, and I sympathize with them. I have my own unique flooding problems. They are nothing compared to those who have lost loved ones or their homes in the flooding rains that filled our lake.
Those of us who have been here in this area for a long time, knew it would take these flooding rains to return the lakes and reservoirs to acceptable levels. Once 82% of a lake bed is dry, it takes a tremendous amount of rain -- all at once -- to fill it up.
It has been a long worrisome haul and I am glad to have the lakes full again -- especially Arrowhead.
So what does this mean? I noticed someone on Facebook expressing her joy that we can wash our cars again without feeling guilty. Another was looking to buy a Slip-n-slide for outdoor water fun. I caught myself wanting to return to my old easier dishwashing habits, and I thought, have you not learned anything during this drought?
Seth and I stopped in the middle of a running
battle with water guns to rescue some
earthworms from the storm waters
Yes, I have learned a lot -- about conserving and harvesting water, about how miserable and troublesome it is not to have easy access to all I want and need. I've even realized that I was quite wasteful. I need to make some permanent changes to the way I did things before the drought. I need to take care that I don't return to those wasteful habits, but I don't want to stay in this drought mindset either.
One of the answers I found is to harvest rainwater. After some trial and error, I bought one 330 gallon IBC, then two 270 gallon IBC's. Deidre and Andy hooked them up to the roof gutters on the house and Bruno's Shop. We hooked up a 40 gallon trash can to the gutter on the pigeon pen -- which recently I expanded to three 40 gallon tanks. Even with the sparse rains we got last spring and summer, I always had water to use on my potted plants. I used most of what I captured behind the shop around the Desirable pecan tree that has been diminishing every year.
Another solution is to figure out how to keep the rain that falls on your property -- in your soil.
I dug the now semi famous swale (semi famous because I talk about it all the time, lol) across my bare dirt front yard.
The very first benefit of the swale was that it gave me a way to water my paper shell pecan tree with harvested water.
Then it started raining -- and the swales filled and absorbed again and again -- and again. I did not realize that the ground would just keep on sucking up the water, but it did.
The cost of municipal water keeps going up. The city council raised the rates during the shortage. I'll be real surprised if the rates go back to anything even close to pre-drought rates now that the lakes are full. You know how it is, the more you make, the more you spend. City government is not going to want to absorb that kind of loss.
From what I've read, it's still up in the air as to whether or not the current drought is over. I've also heard that it's being predicted that these rains may continue through June. Would the drought be considered "over" if that happens? Maybe -- but another long period with no rain is very common here. When summer gets into full swing here in 2015 we may find ourselves wishing it would rain again.
Last summer with no outside watering being allowed, my daughter bought us some water guns. We had a blast with those guns! We were wet and refreshed and it was lots of fun -- and we didn't use a fraction of the water we'd have used with a pool or a sprinkler. I think we'll keep those handy!
Flowing water -- what a beautiful sound!