A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Water issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Water issues. Show all posts

July 8, 2014

Prepper Irrigation: OLLAS

     I want to introduce you to my friend Lori Haynes and her ingenious business, Dripping Springs OLLAS.  Long before I actually met Lori, I had heard of her reputation ... she was creative, imaginative and artistic; gifted in coming up with ways to solve problems.  I can tell you that it is all true, and she has turned her talents into creating a modest little business selling an ancient technique for irrigating plants.
     Lori happens to live in a part of Texas that is rocky with poor soil conditions.  Trying to successfully grow a vegetable or flower garden in nearly constant drought conditions was something that tested her inventive talents.  But she did a lot of research and discovered that "buried clay pot irrigation" was a time-tested technique that just might work for her circumstances, as well as others who wanted and needed an effective irrigation system.
     She configured the exact size and shape that worked best for her and the results were phenomenal -- she successfully grew tomatoes, other vegetables, and flowering plants in the summer of 2011 during one of the most extreme droughts Texas has experienced.
     Now PLW and I are shameless advocates of her OLLAS, which is an unglazed clay pot that is fired at a low temperature, allowing the pot to be porous.  When the pot is buried up to its neck in soil and then filled with water, the porosity of the pot allows the water to seep out, thereby supplying a constant source of water to the roots of your plants.
     There are so many benefits to this type of plant irrigation.  First of all, it is low tech, requiring no electricity; plus it is a low cost alternative to more expensive methods of irrigation.  This method does not need your constant attention; you just fill up the clay pot every few days, depending on your location and soil disposition.  No more drip systems, high water bills, or worrying about over or under-watering your plants.
     I can tell you that PLW is impressed with how well his nascent grape vines are flourishing, as well as the new peach trees he planted.  The searing South Texas heat had just about discouraged him from trying to successfully nurture any fruit trees or plants.  He couldn't pour enough water on them to keep them from wilting and succumbing to the scorching sun!
    But now they seem ambivalent to the intense heat and are growing at a faster pace than he imagined they ever could.  He's especially thrilled that since there is no surface water, the weeds are kept at bay, too.  He's now so impressed with this simple method of irrigation, he's planning our next garden based on how he's going to use the OLLAS.
     I'm sure by now, that you have realized this simple and unique irrigation system is perfect if you're a prepper.  No worrying about the grid going down ... if you have rain barrels or a hand-pump, you will be able to keep your OLLAS filled; you couldn't ask for a more efficient or easy method to make sure you can grow a healthy and productive garden during hard times.  But why wait until TEOTWAWKI comes knocking at your door?  Buy your OLLA today ... prices aren't getting any cheaper at the grocery store and I promise you that you will be amazed at the yield your garden produces!

Isaiah 44:3   "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."

May 14, 2014

Drought Is Drastic

     For many summers, PLW and I have spent hot, dusty days in Arizona as we travel to remote ranches, photographing the modern cowboy for my husband's western art.  There's something about the heat in Arizona ... it's dry and intense; the sun's searing rays leave you exhausted and parched.   You can't get enough water!  But the hope of the rancher has always rested on the summer monsoons; a pronounced season of increased rainfall that begins on June 15 and ends on September 30, with the storms peaking between mid-July and mid-August. On average, about half of Arizona receives nearly half of its annual rainfall during the monsoon.
     Now, one of our favorite places to visit -- Williams, Arizona -- is suffering from a severe drought.  According to the Associated Press, it is so severe, that restaurant patrons don't automatically get a glass of water anymore. Residents caught watering lawns or washing cars with potable water can be fined. Businesses are hauling water from outside town to fill swimming pools, and building permits have been put on hold because there isn't enough water to accommodate development.  Nearby reservoirs are drying up and the town wells have been pumped to capacity.
     But Arizona is not the only state suffering.  Much of the West is under water restrictions.  More than a dozen rural towns in California recently emerged from emergency water restrictions that had a sheriff's office on the lookout for water bandits at a local lake. One New Mexico town relied on bottled water for days last year. In southern Nevada, water customers are paid to remove lawns and cannot install any new grass in their front yards.  In El Paso, Texas, residents can't water outdoors on Mondays. And officials have been reusing treated wastewater and investing in a major desalination plant that turns salty, unusable groundwater into a drinking source for the border city.
     You can imagine how this is effecting businesses and ranchers.  Here in Texas, the drought has resulted in more frequent and longer lines at the sale barn, as ranchers cannot afford to feed their cattle.  The drought definitely has a trickle-down effect (pardon the pun).  Our food supply (including fruits, vegetables, and meat) will be diminished, culminating in higher prices at the grocery store, and hurting families that are already struggling from a weak economy.
     For now, the folks in Williams are praying that God will cause the rains to come.  They are banking on the monsoons to replenish reservoirs and underground water supplies.  They "still have hope God will send us the rain ... We know in due time, the lakes will fill back up, the snow will come," they say.  We all need to join them in those prayers because without rain, droughts lead to famines; and this nation is not prepared to suffer a lack of food -- something 936 million people in the world experience today.  Take note of the warning signs, and please don't take that next meal for granted.

Amos 8:11    "Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD."


March 11, 2013

The Well's About To Run Dry

     In a startling opinion piece on NewsForChristians.com, I learned more than I wanted to know about the state of the world's water supply.  As if it's not enough that we have to worry about food supplies, ammo supplies, warnings of nuclear attacks, and crippling economic news, we now receive reports that our levels of water are diminishing as well.
     Those of us here in the drought-stricken southern plains of Texas know this all too well.  But it was the following facts that brought this alarming situation into sharper focus.  According to this well-researched article, some of the largest lakes and rivers on the globe are being depleted at a very frightening pace.  We have all heard that the third world countries have little access to clean water, and perhaps you think "that's a problem, for certain, but it doesn't really affect me."  But did you know that the most important underground water source in America, the Ogallala Aquifer, is rapidly running dry? Did you know that the most important lake in the western United States, Lake Mead, is rapidly running dry?  Did you know that the most important river in the western United States, the Colorado River, is rapidly running dry?  Now do I have your attention?
     Here is a deeply disturbing memo from the first U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment of Global Water Security. The document predicts that by 2030 humanity's "annual global water requirements" will exceed "current sustainable water supplies" by forty percent!
    All this may sound like "government speak" and hard to assimilate into our day-to-day lives, but contemplate this:  When Lake Mead falls below 1,050 feet, the Hoover Dam's turbines shut down and the lights in Vegas start going out.  But the Hoover Dam doesn't just supply the electricity needs for Las Vegas.  Southern California, the city of Los Angeles, and the state of Arizona are supplied by Hoover Dam, as well.
     In an article by Alex Daley, we read this prescient opinion:  You can always build more power plants, but you can't build more rivers, and the mighty Colorado carries the lifeblood of the Southwest. It services the water needs of an area the size of France, in which live 40 million people. In its natural state, the river poured 15.7 million acre-feet of water into the Gulf of California each year. Today, twelve years of drought have reduced the flow to about 12 million acre-feet, and human demand siphons off every bit of it; at its mouth, the riverbed is nothing but dust.  
     If you are able to connect the dots, you will realize that this greatly affects the agricultural areas in the Southwest.  But it's not just our rivers that are being depleted.  Important groundwaters are drying up.  Science Daily reports that if current trends continue some parts of the southern High Plains that currently support irrigated agriculture, mostly in the Texas Panhandle and western Kansas, will be unable to do so within a few decades.  You see, our massive underground aquifers have always been able to support our agricultural needs and were responsible for the US being the breadbasket of the world.  That role is now in danger.
     According to the NewsForChristians site "Once the water from those aquifers is gone, it is gone for good. That is why what is happening to the Ogallala Aquifer is so alarming. The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest sources of fresh water in the world, and U.S. farmers use water from it to irrigate more than 15 million acres of crops each year. The Ogallala Aquifer covers more than 100,000 square miles and it sits underneath the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota. Most Americans have never even heard of it, but it is absolutely crucial to our way of life."  The author provides these alarming statistics:
• The Ogallala Aquifer is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.
• According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie" has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940.
• Decades ago, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of approximately 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet. In some areas of Texas, the water is gone completely.
• According to a recent National Geographic article, the average depletion rate of the Ogallala Aquifer is picking up speed.... Even more worrisome, the draining of the High Plains water account has picked up speed. The average annual depletion rate between 2000 and 2007 was more than twice that during the previous fifty years. The depletion is most severe in the southern portion of the aquifer, especially in Texas, where the water table beneath sizeable areas has dropped 100-150 feet; in smaller pockets, it has dropped more than 150 feet.
• According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. interior west is now the driest that it has been in 500 years.
•  Experts report that U.S. water bills are likely to soar in the coming years. The drinking water infrastructure is old and it will cost more than $1 Trillion to repair, resulting in water bills tripling in the near future.
• It has been estimated that the state of California only has a 20 year supply of fresh water left; New Mexico only has 10 years left.
     These facts only concern the United States!  When you add in what scientists and experts report about the global water crisis, you can see that this takes on Apocalyptic dimensions.  Consider these facts:
• Total global water use has quadrupled over the past 100 years, and it is now increasing faster than it ever has been before.
• According to USAID (US Agency for International Development), one-third of the people on earth will be facing "severe" or "chronic" water shortages by the year 2025.
• The flow of water along the Jordan River is down to only 2 percent of its historic rate.
• It is being projected that the demand for water in China will exceed the supply by 25 percent by the year 2030.
• Every 8 seconds, somewhere in the world a child dies from drinking dirty water.
• Due to a lack of water, Saudi Arabia has given up on trying to grow wheat and will be 100 percent dependent on wheat imports by the year 2016.
•  Once upon a time, the Aral Sea (in Central Asia) was the 4th largest freshwater lake in the entire world. At this point, it is less than 10 percent the size that it used to be, and it is being projected that it will dry up completely by the year 2020.
     And the facts go on and on .... each one more striking than the last.  All in all, the picture looks bleak.  Pure and simply, mankind cannot live without water; clean drinking water and an amply water supply to support agriculture are necessary to sustain the world's population.  At this point, it looks as if we are facing a devastating water crisis with no reprieve in sight.  It looks as if prayer is our only answer!

Haggai 1:10-11    "Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands."