Drought affects all of us
April 11, 2014
Snow in the mountains is money in the bank if you're a Carson Valley rancher.
And the longer it takes that snow to melt, the better off the Valley's irrigators will be this spring.
With only a few private reservoirs along the Carson River above our Valley, the amount of snow in the mountains and the length of time it takes to melt is critical to how green the Valley will be next summer.
Not having sufficient irrigation water affects every person living in Carson Valley, and not just because of the view.
Some ranchers have supplemental water rights, which means they can pump groundwater onto their fields when they run short.
A bad water year can result in a drop in the Valley's water table, and have an impact on others who are getting their water from the aquifer.
That means all of us. Without a treatment plant, whether it be by individual well or municipal water system, Carson Valley's water supply is under our feet.
A third year of drought means less recharge for the Valley's aquifer, and more demand, not just from ranchers, but for anyone whose trying to keep their landscaping alive.
The lack of natural surface water also means drier soils, which contribute to drier vegetation.
The National Weather Service is forecasting thunderstorms for this week, which means even if we're all perfectly careful with fire, we're still going to have to live with fire.
A visit to http://www.livingwithfire.info provides several things residents can do to reduce their water use, and make their homes safer in all sorts of weather.