Appreciating an essential
The bounty of Louisiana’s natural resources is a God-given luxury that many of us understand and appreciate. We see these blessings in our abundant oil, natural gas, good earth and wildlife, yet one natural resource holds sway above all other: water.
According to the USDA’s partnership website, Southern Regional Water Program, the water source for 61 percent of the state’s residents is ground water from underground aquifers, while public water systems also use lakes, rivers and reservoirs to supply clean water. For most of Jeff Davis Parish, we are drinking ground water from the Chicot Aquifer.
I bring all this up because this week in a city council meeting Mayor Robert Bertrand of ,Lake Arthur modestly asked the residents of the area to conserve water due to the lack of rain and possible drought conditions in our area. Though I agreed with Mayor Bertrand’s request, I remembered the Chicot Aquifer as well as Lake Arthur’s abundant water right outside the door and asked myself, what are the specific conditions that define a drought?
According to the USDA, because of all the geological, moisture and historical rainfall factors, it is a difficult task to gauge what defines a drought. Yet, one system stands out for the USDA. “The most frequently used indicators of drought are those developed by Wayne Palmer in the 1960’s. These include the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI), the Palmer Z Index and the Crop Moisture Index (CMI). It is superior to other drought indices in many respects because it accounts not only for precipitation totals, but also for temperature, evapotranspiration, soil runoff and soil recharge.”
According to the Palmer index, Southwest Louisiana is currently in a moderate drought. Everyone here has probably already determined this conclusion because of the sheer fact it’s hot and dry. But, according to Palmer and the cries of Texas and California, we have it easy in the drought arena.
In Texas and the Western U.S. there are currently large areas of extreme drought as well as 39 live wildfires. Last year, we saw hay prices soar in Texas because their inability to grow grass. On Monday, the AP released an article detailing the current water wars farmers are undergoing in California. They are leaving thousands of acres barren because of lack of water resources.
With all of this in mind and hurricanes aside, Mother Nature is very good to us here in Sportsman’s Paradise. But, we should remember not to take our blessings for granted and use all of our natural resources wisely. So in following Mayor Bertrand’s request here are some water conservation tips for your home:
Water your lawn in the early morning or late evening; don’t leave the water running in the sink while washing dishes or brushing your teeth; fix leaks; use drip irrigation in flower beds or gardens; and wash full loads of laundry as much as you can.
Though cliché, these little things we individually do sometimes makes all the difference.
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