Everybody is concerned about and feeling the effects of climate change. The entire South is currently suffocating in all-time record breaking heat and we are in the second year of an equally record-breaking drought.
It has become popular to support carbon emissions reducing initiatives. It’s wonderful that people are waking up to the damage we are doing to our planet, but I believe there are things we can do right now that will have a much greater impact on weather change related to the water cycles and will reduce one’s dependence on costly government built infrastructure.
Water is increasingly being channeled into large reservoirs to supply large urban environments and, more and more, bottled by big corporations. Doesn’t it seem scandalous that you pay more per gallon for bottled water, a free commodity that falls from the sky, than you pay for gasoline? It may not seem so expensive because you don’t drink as much water as your car uses and bottled water ends up buried as just one item in your grocery bill. And it has become common knowledge that bottled water is no more pure than what comes from the tap. But most important of all is the environmental cost of bottling and shipping all that water.
On the top of the Cumberland Plateau, water is especially precious. There are a number of large developments that have come to a halt here because their proposed water demands outstrip the supply. Some large, well financed developers continue to promote their product despite the fact that they offer no guaranteed municipal water supply. Homeowners may be forced to rely on wells that are unreliable or yield water laden with iron or sulpher.
The Village does not have this problem. We have ample municipal drinking water and plenty of water pressure for fire protection. But, why waste it when there is such great need everywhere? By installing a simple cistern that efficiently collects rain water from your roof, filters and stores it for later use you can insulate yourself from drought by providing a pure, reliable source of water without the risk of unknown added chemicals.
Cisterns also preserve the amount of water that is retained near the source, where it falls. It only makes sense that keeping the distribution of water more evenly spread instead of concentrating it in cities is closer to what nature intends. As the water is used locally, it is released into the environment to evaporate and return to the water cycle, thus keeping moisture in areas that are otherwise being dried up.
There are a number of good web pages out there that explain how to build a cistern amazingly low costs that can supply a family for extended periods of drought. Having a cistern AND a good back-up municipal water supply is the best of both worlds.
As weather change, extreme heat, cold and drought become an undeniable reality, I think that’s what one might call a no-brainer investment, a great insurance policy, and simply intelligent living.
I’ll be putting a cistern in at my place. How about you?