Who’ll Stop the Rain?

Long as I remember,
The rain been comin’ down.
Clouds of myst’ry pourin’
Confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages
Tryin’ to find the sun.
And I wonder,
Still I wonder
Who’ll stop the rain.

–John Fogarty

It’s raining.  Thank goodness.  After a long dry spell, we are finally getting some rain.  Folks out West are parched.  Lakes are drying up.  The Pacific Northwest has set all time temperature records.  Here in the Upper Midwest things are not so bad.  But we needed the rain.  My father used to call these mid-summer rains “million-dollar rains.”  So they are.

Climate change deniers are looking the other way.  Nothing to see here, move along.  What will it take for them to change their minds?  A protracted drought out West?  More wildfires?  Increased hurricanes in the South and East?  More inconvenient truth?  I’m not sure any of this will make a dent.  For some science and fact deniers wouldn’t concede even if the truth jumped up and bit them in the ass.  What will they do when their well runs dry?

Years ago, friends of mine and I piloted houseboats on Lake Mead and Lake Powell.  We would pull the boat up to side canyons, get out and hike.   Nowadays I’m not even sure you could do this the water is so low.  When we were there the “bathtub ring”—i.e., the high-water mark was high above our heads.  Now it is even higher.  I hear they are even worried about not having enough water in Mead to run through the turbines at the dam.  So much for the electricity generated.  So much for the water going to Vegas and Los Angeles.  

I used to live in Utah.  When we built a home there, the lot came with “water rights”.  It was a separate legal document that gave us the right to hook up to water.  Having grown up in the Midwest, I never stopped to think about water—it was always there.  But out West it is a scarce resource that must be allocated.

Seventy percent of the impounded water in the reservoirs goes to agriculture.  So farmers can grow crops in California and other places that would otherwise be desert.  So we can have fruits and vegetables year round.   What will happen if they can’t grow crops because a lack of water?  Higher prices.  Empty grocery shelves.  In the meantime, it is raining here.  I wonder if it is enough for the local crops—the corn, the beans, the wheat, and the truck gardens.  We’ll see.

In the meantime, who’ll stop the rain?  I hope no one.

1 Comment

  1. Amen. Getting a bit tired of hand-watering young trees, lathering on suncreen every day, looking at patches of brown blue-grass, hearing a few neighbors ask why is is brown, and amping up coop irrigation. There are bigger things to cooperate on. You bet, the million dollar rain. Or is it billion now?

    612-963-0111 mobile


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