Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Water, water, everywhere?

Last week, I flew out to meet my hubby for a few days of R&R after a conference. As usual, the plane was routed through the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. I was lucky to get a window seat, and on the approach I noticed something that really bugged me:

How many pools can you count in this picture? They're the little blue dots. I got to 50 and stopped counting, and that wasn't even half of the homes in this picture.

Where is all that water for those pools coming from? Well, notice how much of the shoreline of the reservoir you can see that's not covered with vegetation. I'm not sure which reservoir it is (Dallas has several), but they're all quite low.

And check out this branch of the reservoir. The water should go nearly 2/3 across the picture from right to left... but it only goes about 1/3 of the way across. Again, this reservoir is nowhere near full.

Seriously, I get antsy if we (a family of four) use more than 3000 gallons of water per month. 3500 is our absolute max, and that's for everything. We don't water the lawn or anything other than edible plants, we have low-flow toilets, faucets, and shower heads, and we don't leave the water running in the sinks. And yet, when I see lots and lots of people with huge pools and a low reservoir, I wonder if it's worth it. If we are so careful, why shouldn't they be? Central Texas had another bad drought last summer, and although we've had good rainfall so far this year, there's no guarantee that will continue. And with the population of Central Texas projected to expand significantly in the next 10-15 years, our water issues will just get worse.

In fact, while waiting for the plane, I overheard a man talking about water rights in one of the western counties. Apparently the county has no groundwater, so all their water has to be trucked or piped in. Can you imagine having water trucked in for your use? I'm sure this is the norm for some people, but if that were the case here, I'd watch every drop! And pools? You've got to be kidding. And you have to wonder how often the actually get used. Not enough to justify all the water that's being used to fill them, I bet.

Rant over - I have to go take a shower. With my low-flow shower head, of course. ;)

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