Merced County Times Newspaper
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What Are We Going To Do With All This Water?

John Derby
John Derby

The view of Lake McClure as you drive past Horseshoe Bend is amazing. Never in our memory has the lake been this full of water.

The river through Snelling is maxed out and far above its normal banks.

The docks at Lake Yosemite are almost under water.

The falls at Yosemite have never been so full, powering from the top of the mountains and into the valley.

Have we enough storage, or will this water just be taken to the Delta and flushed out to sea?

We have known for years we have taken more water from the ground in the valley and not replaced it.  The memory of the dry years and the pumps which found no water are still too fresh in our mind.  Will this water fill those voids?

There are a lot of unanswered questions which only time will tell.  Will this rain continue into next year and cause flooding in our area?

Years ago, when we interviewed Congressman Tony Coelho, we asked a very simple question; “What is the one big,  most important issue California will have to contend with in the future.” He did not hesitate and answered with one word “water.”

Water is a two-edged sword. The ground under properties on the coast of California is being undermined, and the result is houses falling down cliffs and into the sea.

Our state is fragile. We have not cared for it well. Our forest practices have been poor in many areas, and we have paid the price.

The housing, which we see being built so fast, will have its price. We need to plan well. Would installing water storage tanks under houses be a wise move?

In Mexico, where we live part of the time, each house has its water storage tank on top of the house. Water south of the border is a very precious commodity. In places of Mexico, growth can not exist because there is not enough water to support it.

In the States, we insist on having fresh drinking water piped direct to our homes, but is this sensible?  For most of the world this does not happen. Homes have water; however, it is not meant for drinking.

What can we do with all our water now when it is so plentiful?  UC Merced uses a very large storage tank of water to heat and cool its buildings, and it makes good sense.

Everyone is getting out in the rivers and streams with their kayaks and water rafts making the best of the summer’s windfall of water.

Because of the heat in the valley, we run for our boat in the Bay Area, where the water keeps the air nice and cool.

We thank God for this very valuable resource. We can’t live without it.

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