April 13, 2007

Tut Tut... Where is the Rain?

And while portions of the nation are suffering through a 2nd odd freaky Easter Winter, here in the Southern part of Florida, the dog days of summer are upon us. It was 93 degrees the other day according to my little car temp thingie.

Now before you think I’m bragging and gushing, I’m not. I don’t like the heat any more than I like the bitter cold. My kids said to me today as they hopped into the car for the ride home from school, ‘Mom, would you rather live where it snowed or live here in this heat?”

I said, “What kind of snow? Define cold and snow. You mean Iceland?”

Kids: No.

Me: Good. Because I could never do Iceland. You mean New York, New Jersey or Connecticut?

Kids: Yeah, could you live in New Jersey?

Me: No, I hate their politics and it’s too bloody cold and icky. I’d rather live somewhere that is 9 months of heat than 9 months of dreary cold.

Kids: But… it snows!!!

The problem is… my kids have never seen snow. They picture winter wonderland.

Me: Exactly. And with snow comes months of dark dreary rain where there is NO snow. Yuck. Cold, bitter wind that bites to the bones.

But I’d prefer four seasons, which is why I’m excited about one day settling in NE Alabama. Four distinct season… 3 months of each season. I.cannot.wait.

Anyway, the heat is not what is bothering me, although I did feel like the skin was burning from my face today. What bothers me is that we are in the midst of a massive drought here in south Florida.

Massive. Covering our water district’s ENTIRE territory… a first.

We are on water restrictions and have been for awhile. They say it may be one of the worst droughts we’ve had in recorded history and to make it worse, we have more people. More people = more people who need drinking water AND more people who WASTE water.

Right now we’re still allowed to water our lawns, from 4AM to 8AM, two days a week with designated days based on our address.

After the drought ends, there is talk we will be on permanent water restrictions… as we should be with this size population... thank you to the State, County, and cities for allowing the developers to run roughshod all over us, overstraining our roads, our schools and... our water supplies.

We had about two inches of rain this winter and our lake, the big blue lake you see in the middle of the state when you look at the map, is down over three feet.

There is genuine concern of salt intrusion into our wells. This could be as economically bad for us as a hurricane. Our farmers are in deep trouble.

And those not on well think it won’t affect them? They are wrong. In an article our newspaper did today, an emergency manager said we could very well even have brown outs if our power plants can’t get water for cooling.

That’s not all though. We get to add fire to the equation. We are at over 800 in the drought index. I found this very cool drought site that shows where the biggest problems are in the nation. Southern California is in BAD shape, worse shape than we are. (Click on the 12 week animation. Very very cool. You can see the problems Texas has had.) What it does not show, this drought map, is how much trouble the various water municipalities are in. We’re in deep doo doo. I don’t know about Southern Cal, but I’m going to expect it’s a similar situation as they are so densely populated as well.

We’re in a burn ban, obviously, and this past weekend a nature preserve caught fire, burning 35 acres and forcing people to evacuate their homes. I know that is nothing compared to the roaring forest fires they have out west, but… we don’t have forests. It is over built down here and we only have, outside the Everglades that the builders would LOVE to pave over, smatterings of preserves surrounded by homes. That is a slight exaggeration, but not much the closer you get to the coast.

I don’t panic during storms. Rain, wind, water… it does not scare me. Fire scares me. It is the thought of a fire during a hurricane that scares the crap out of me. Tornadoes and fires.

What we need is a good rain every day. That’s not going to happen. Rainy season starts in June, so it will only get worse before it gets better. But a few Tropical Depressions wouldn’t bother me at all.

Meanwhile, my kids have asked me if I’d call in on neighbors who didn’t adhere to water restrictions. (They’re giving us a nark line.) If it means the difference between drinking water and salt intrusion into my well, power and no power, you’re damn straight. I’m not going to lose my frickin’ drinking water because someone or some golf course or some business feels a sense of entitlement to our water sources when the rest of us are cutting back. For those neighbors I know, however, I’d make a personal call first.

I hope it doesn’t come to that. I hope everyone really is taking it seriously. Because it is… very serious.

Posted by Boudicca at April 13, 2007 08:35 PM | TrackBack

Well, I was able to replace my cardboard vent window in my truck with fresh cardboard. With no rain, at least it'll last awhile. I hope it doesn't catch fire.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at April 13, 2007 09:34 PM

Sorry. It is not three months of each season. Summer is 5 months. Fall is 2.5. Winter is 2.5. Spring is 2. Seasons may vary somewhat. There will occasionally be snow. What is worse is the occasional icestorm which brings power outages. The winters are mostly mild.

Posted by: Denny at April 13, 2007 10:32 PM

We may get as much as six inches of rain this weekend. I wish I could send you some.

Also, I'd be happy to show your boys how to use a snow blower. The politics here does stink, as does the traffic. But, Alafarookin'bama?

Posted by: Jim - PRS at April 14, 2007 12:39 AM

this particular item really pisses me off. Why weren't we on water restrictions LAST year? Why haven't all the cities and towns spent money like Jupiter to do so much more for the water? Yaa... And why aren't they doing a better job of advertising it???? It should be on frick'n billboards. I think half the people I talk to don't even know we are on water restrictions.

Posted by: vw bug at April 14, 2007 07:04 AM

Well, We have four distinct seasons - usually, this year has been truly odd. We have a beautiful fall. Some years I need to start the pool cleaning in March, others - like this year - not till later - much later.

You and your boys are welcome here - I've told you that before. We have a lot of land, a lot of fun and we even have snow, so - come on up sometime for the snow! The sledding here is fun, fun, fun!

Posted by: oddybobo at April 14, 2007 07:56 AM

TN- I found another place that shows y'all aren't have drinking water issues like we are and I don't get it.

Denny- I'm cool with that. right now we have 9 months of heat and 3 months of 70 degree weather. I want Fall. I want a cold winter for a couple months where I cannot wait for spring.

Jimbo- Yup! NE corner. Not so far from Chattanooga. Near Huntsville in the foothills. It's BEAUTIFUL!

VW- I know. They put it on the news and in the paper, but many people don't watch or read either. It's a pain. And I'm still pissed about that golf course. George first brought that to my attn.

Oddy- One day we will show up at your doorstep! ;-)

Posted by: Bou at April 14, 2007 08:33 AM

It is ironic that in an area where we have 40 plus inches of rain per year we have a water shortage. But the problem is not a shortage of water as much as it is an overage of population.

I get pissed at the Florida state and county governments when on one hand the piss and moan about the water shortage but have never met a developer they can't climb in bed with..

Posted by: GUYK at April 15, 2007 07:15 AM

We are on month 6 of the cold, grey, rain, snow crap ...

I am sooooo over Winter

Posted by: Quality Weenie at April 15, 2007 09:55 AM

It always surprises me how in a water shortage, grass gets so much attention.
It's freaking GRASS!
You can't kill it!

Now, if you have to water your lawn to keep it from becoming a fire hazard, okay, I'm good with that.

But you KNOW people are just worried about having a brown crusty lawn while their neighbor's lawn is lush green.

It's grass.
It'll be fine.

Posted by: Roses at April 16, 2007 07:59 AM

There was an article in Sunday's Dallas Morning News about homeowners and developers digging their own wells so as not to have to pay the city water department. I don't know that I have a real problem with that, if you can afford to build your own well, fine. I do have a problem with the 'gentleman' they quoted about his well who said "I just love the idea of being able to water like crazy during the summer when everybody else is restricted".

I'm not advocating a socialist state but good grief - how selfish.


Posted by: TxAFbrat at April 16, 2007 11:45 AM