Mapping your water supply
Daniel Christian Wahl

Thanks for writing this story. Water is a resource that often must be managed to be sustainable.

When and where I grew up water was abundant clean and was the reason the town even existed. The town was founded around water wheel powered woolen mills from a dammed stream that became a lake. The town was surrounded with Dairy, Corn, Potato farms. The lake/stream watershed was isolated from farm runoff by surrounding hills and was feed by springs and brooks from large tracks of wilderness forest. At the time none of the farms irrigated they got by on natural rainfall and dew. Many of them now irrigate but not from wells but from ponds made to catch the runoff from fields and forests. I don’t think that region is going to see a water problem. It helps that the population is not growing.

I moved to Florida and before I moved away they were rationing water and irrigating golf courses with grey water from municipal sewers and storm drains. Before that they were fined for dumping that stuff into the adjacent estuary. On the near by barrier islands there was a salt water intrusion problem. The whole water cycle was being mismanaged and overdrawn. They were beginning to deal with it when I moved away.

Now I live in southeast Louisiana and we have too much water. Seriously, out biggest problem is inadequate drainage. Mostly an overbuilding and poor planning problem. We are spending millions along with federal help to expand the retention ponds and pumps and canals to try and fix the problems caused by poor planning. If you build on small tracks of barely high ground between a huge estuary system and a river delta/swamp you would think you would plan on adequate and proper drainage. One of the most popular solutions is to elevate the houses, even put them on stilts and live with the flooding. One year we were having a company picnic at a local park. It was a wonderful sunny fall day just after the peak of hurricane season and the park began to flood. A tropical storm in the Gulf far to the east of us was pushing wind driven tides into the estuary. The picnic area including the area in front of the stage and the arts and crafts tables was under water without a drop of rain.

This flooding and storm run off causes all sorts of pollution problems and there are warnings about eating too much of certain native caught fish.

Pardon me for throwing in my two cents worth.


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