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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

About that water problem

Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2007, at 9:04 AM

Well, last night's downpour put a new glow of green on some hills this morning, but according to TVA, only resulted in one hundredth of a foot of water going back into in Normandy Reservoir. And it is still steadly dropping. The cut of the flow from the dam has helped ... but the numbers are still going down.

The problem is that it appears some folks are not taking this water shortage too seriously.

Every morning and evening, I spot several locations on Highway 130 going toward Tullahoma where someone has their sprinkler systems cranked up at their high dollar homes. Most of the water is not even reaching their carefully manicured lawns, but is instead sprayed all over the street.

Seriously, are your yards really that important?

While we are under voluntary restrictions at this time, I haven't seen too much evidence of folks taking this to heart. It even appears to me that the rules set up for the eventual mandatory restrictions have some things put into it that we could really do without already.

According to our story from a few months ago, when the lake reaches 850 feet, Stage 2 will go into effect, which includes:

The watering of fairways on any golf course or athletic field would be restricted to the hours of midnight to 5 a.m.

Are golf courses and ball fields being green really such a major priority? Apparently so, because if we get to the last critical stage when the lake drops to 840 feet, then...

Commercial nurseries and vegetable gardens would be restricted to the absolute minimum water usage to keep plants alive.

Golf course tees and greens could only be watered on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from midnight to 5 a.m. and ball fields only watered on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday during the same time period. Water that is served for drinking purposes at restaurants or other public or non-public eating establishments would be restricted to be served only as requested by the customer.

So agricultural businesses will have to get by with barely enough to keep their plants alive, but Hole 13 will still look good. Remember, if we reach this point, Tullahoma and Manchester will have really serious problems with their water supply, but hey, at least you can hit the links and work on your game.

We really seem to have our priorities mixed up here. Badly.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Let's try to improve things before we have to go beyond rationing and xeriscaping straight onto spray painting our land its verdant color,making leaves out of polyester and pledging our hearts to amber waves of topsoil.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 11:29 AM

Whew Brian, I sure hope you are not a golfer. I would hate to see your tee time next 18. BUT YOU ARE RIGHT!

I realize that there is a substantial investment made in golf course, but ANY agricultural entity or those who rely on green grass and shrubs should reduce to just get by. Many have and a number of nursery operations have had to close already.

Any business or private home should use as little as needed to get by. I can not imagine that drinking glasses of water will make a big difference, but at least everyone is doing their share. I have seen it in restaurants in other areas.

The hotels promote reduction by asking guests to use their towels a second day before requesting new ones. Unless you did not wash the first time, that should not be too much of a health issue. We should do the same at home.

I stopped watering my shrubs, trees and main garden in May. Never did water my lawn and reduced down to a few heirlooms until the end of June. I may still lose the heirlooms, lost some roses, blueberries, lavender, my whole veggie garden, but I DON'T WANT TO BE WITHOUT DRINKING WATER SO, let's suck it up folks!

I hate that we would have to resort to writing tickets and publicizing violators. Just because you can afford to pay for it, does not mean it should be used!

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 11:49 AM

Here's a suggestion, for those looking forward to next Spring's flowerbeds. Now, please hear me out before you roll your eyes, ha ha! I believe every home should have at least 1 rain barrel to collect runoff from the roof. I used one all summer, and never needed a drop of water from my tap for my rosebushes and other flowers. I looked at my utility bill in August... the month where we had no rain at all. I saved almost 150 gallons of water compared to August 2006. Those 150 gallons came from 3 rain collection barrels back when we actually got rain in June and July.

Now that the blooming season for my little flowergardens is over, I have turned my barrels over. There's no need to save rain, only to have it freeze this winter and tear my barrels up.

Believe it or not, for every inch of rain that falls on a catchment area of 1,000 square feet, you can expect to collect approximately 600 gallons of rainwater. Source: http://rainbarrelguide.com/

Yeah, my husband laughed at me when I first asked him to install one of these. But, he wasn't the only one laughing when I had beautiful, bright colored peonies, petunias, and bosten ferns while my neighbors were tossing their dry/dead plants in the mulch piles.

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 1:38 PM

There is nothing crazy about rain barrels. In my case it would not have helped since my 66 acres had less than an inch in 3 months, but, capturing runoff is well worth while.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 5:52 PM

Yeah, Steve... I don't know what to tell ya about a 66 acre farm. It's a crazy idea, and likely too expensive, but I could almost picture a few cisterns buried underground in the fields for crops. The Romans used them thousands of years ago, where rainwater seeped into the cistern, and was later pumped out for watering crops, etc. But, I don't know if such receptacles are economically beneficial by today's standards.

I do feel bad for our farmers whose income is dependant on rain. My heart and prayers go out to all of them and their families.

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 6:34 PM

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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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