Friday, June 29, 2007

A Dry Sense of Humour

Is it possible to have a sense of humour about a drought? Quick answer: no! The grass is parched, the container plants are wilting, the earth is cracking. Every living thing around me is aching for a drink. Fortunately here in Canada, the solution is just a hose away. Our freshwater lakes are abundant and I can only imagine how much water is stored in all that glacial ice way up north. I turned my sprinkler on yesterday (that's Mount Tiki-Soaki in the picture) and let it run all afternoon long. I doubt that it was enough.

Mount Tiki-Soaki isn't so much a sprinkler as it is a children's toy. It sends out two small steady streams from its "ears" and then erupts in a geiser every ten seconds or so. I never intended to use it as a sprinkler but it simulates rain so well, it's a perfect fit for the garden. The real rain just isn't forthcoming. I can remember only one day of decent rainfall this month. Between the lack of precipitation and backyard sprinkler fun, I got to thinking about some serious water issues.

My husband's uncle is a water engineer in the U.S. He says unless there is some major snowfall in the mountains next year, California will likely run out of water. In Los Angeles alone, that's nearly 10 million people without a drop.

Despite some recently violent weather and floods, Australia is in the middle of its worst drought on record. The country's food bowl is drying up. The government is considering forcing people to drink treated sewage water.

Scientists in Bolivia believe a glacier that provides water to hundreds of thousands of people in and around La Paz could vanish completely within 12 months triggering massive water, food and electricity shortages. This is scary, scary stuff.

I can have a laugh about Mount Tiki-Soaki. The name is cute and it's fun to try and jump over it before the geiser blows. But this sprinkler, silly as it is, is a reminder that drought is no laughing matter. Without water, there is no life. And the consequences for the planet make my concerns about a container plant ot two laughable. Everybody...cross your fingers for rain.

2 comments:

Ottawa Gardener said...

Same boat, no water, and I have found myself watering my garden. Usually its only the veggies that get water and then often only a watering can from the fish pond. This month has been different. Where's the rain? It's a dry dry June.

I often say that water unlike oil is necessary for existence and as there are more of us there will be more need for it.

Canada is lucky to have an abundance of it, but how lucky, for how long and what that will mean, I don't know.

Soilman said...

God, I so wish this were our problem in the UK!!
For the last month, we have suffered a deluge of daily rain that's left thousands of people flooded out. We are heartily sick of it.
You just can't find a happy medium, can you?