By Chuck Nafziger
There was lots of concern and a bit of action dealing with this summer's drought. I am very fortunate that the previous owner, Michael Eisenberg, had the forethought to put in a deep pond so I have a good water storage system. I use the water for my bathroom, irrigation, and in an emergency, the water would could be boiled for kitchen use; but it is available. I get my drinking water out of a different well with beautiful clean water.
For all that was said about the dryness this year, few years ago, it was worse. I have a good metric. During the dry spell in 2012, I put in a couple of steps going into my pond. They are made out of the big concrete septic tank access lids that were left over after I installed pipe risers on my tank. I had to bed them in a concrete footing in the exposed shallow edge of the pond to get them to stay where I wanted them on the hardpan bottom of the pond. I took advantage of the low water a couple of years ago to accomplish the task. I thought that this year I would be able to put in a deeper step, but the water did not even go down as far as it had in 2012. This year, Washington State had more, bigger forest fires, but that was caused by the increase in lightning storms that are coming our way--another climate change that may continue in the future.
In 2012, the drought continued into the fall, and the mushroom season was severely affected. This year, the recent rains promise lots of edible fungi. We got lucky weatherwise.
All in all, we are in a blessed part of the world for water. Planning ahead and establishing storage systems is crucial. Personally, I am also gradually replacing all my roofing with metal to help in the case of fire. As droughts, deluges and more wildfires become the "new normal," we are still in one of the best places for dealing with the changes, but we have to do some preparation