Sunday 22 July 2012
The Tipping Point
Up until now, the drought has only had minor effect on our property.
But the lack of rain is beginning to cause immediate and long lasting damage.
Even the hearty Blackberries are wilting, and next year's crop will suffer.
The hope of a good harvest has turned to the hope that plants won't die.
The last time the water table was so low was in 2006.
I only remember because Kira and were married here that year, in September.
We had landscaped and renovated for the wedding; of the projects was a lawn.
The lawn was grown from seed and would not have survived had we not irrigated from the pond.
I have always kept a careful watch on our water supply,
which is a spring fed dug well.
This year is the lowest the well has ever been, and it is possible that it could stop giving us water if the aquifers are not replenished.
The creek is completely dry; there is no water at all running on the surface.
The pond is fed from the creek, but is also supplied by the water table.
It still has water in it, but barely.
If the pond dries up, there will be no water at all here.
The plan is to set up a pump to draw from what's left in the pond.
We can irrigate our gardens and fruit without using well water.
This has always been the intention, if only because pond water is better for the plants, and it would compel me to set-up a permanent irrigation solution.
Of course, now it is an emergency reaction.
Even if the pond dries up, I believe that I could dig a well in the bottom of the pond to reach more water.
The tragedy would be the death of countless fish.
Many have already been snatched up by the opportunistic wildlife,
as the fish are more vulnerable.
How I go about installing a parallel water system depends on when I am able to get the materials.
There will also be some trench digging, which is never fun in shield country.
On the positive side, once this is working, it should be permanent and won't need to be done again.
We'll be able to water the plants without fear of draining the well.
But it all hinges on getting some rain again someday.
It's been a dry year from the outset.
It's difficult to believe that the pattern will change.