When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade

irrigation

irrigation

After posting the blog “Agriculture Needs Water” most of the conversations at our ranch has been dominated by water. Since the order came for us to completely shut off our irrigation it has been going back on forth between being able to irrigate with restrictions (6am-6pm) and complete shut offs. Last week we were completely shut off and now we are back on again until the end of September (which is when our water license runs out for the year. We can only pump water from the river from April 1 to September 30 every year).
It was a very frustrating experience as I expressed in the first blog, but I think you can always find positives out of any experience. Some positives that came out of it were our family and our neighbour met with our local MLA and had a great meeting and discussion about the future. For example, if this were to happen again how we can improve the consultation process and hopefully work together (if there is a next time) instead of just being handed a letter, also we discussed some collaborative ideas for the community to be proactive in water conservation. In addition, our MLA and her secretary came out and toured our place and our neighbour’s place and were able to see first hand other factors that contribute to the current water situation such as where the river has flooded and taken acres of our land and left a wide shallow channel, which is contributing to high water temperatures and creating a less than ideal environment for the fish, but this circumstance is not a result of irrigation for agriculture purposes. We also discussed while our water awareness was extremely highened when we were shut off we observed that in our community there is plenty of room for water conservation improvements. Such as the city of Merritt draws its water from an aquifer, but the Coldwater River runs right through the city, so that drawing water out of that aquifer would affect the Coldwater River because it is all connected. While we were shut off the city implemented an extra day citizens could not water their lawn, which is helpful, but if we are worried about the water I think there needs to be shift in society, agriculture is using water to produce food and we are being monitored, but we can use that water to ensure an aesthetically pleasing lawn or to wash our cars.
It has been an interesting switch in own mentality around water like how much we are watering our lawns and using household water. For example, we had corn on the cob one night for dinner and after boiling the corn instead of dumping the water down the drain I let it cool over night and then watered my flowers the next morning. Or when doing dishes only fill your sink up just a tiny bit and then rise your soapy dishes over the sink and that fills up the sink instead of starting with a huge sink full of water. As for our lawns, maybe there needs to be more incentive for xeriscaping or using plants that require less water.

Advertisements

One thought on “When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade

  1. Appreciate the insight that working with you elected representative didn’t fix the situation THIS time but is building a bridge for the next crisis. A lesson for many of us on the farm to be proactive in these relationships.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s