I grew up in rural Dewey County, and every family farm had cisterns, as did many of the town folks. There was no public water supply. To say we did not waste water is an understatement. There were two cisterns on our farm. We caught water off our big barn into one cistern, and that was for general family usage. Another cistern at my grandmother’s house caught all of our drinking and cooking water.
Our drinking water was pulled out of the cistern on a rope-bucket pulley system, and that continued even after I went to college. Water was then, and will be soon, a major issue. We waste water, we crap in potable water, we dump it on our lawns, we have no idea where water comes from, but all we have to do is turn on the tap, and it magically appears. So far … In Third World countries where folks have to haul 5 gallons of drinkable water on their head for miles and miles, they do not crap in that water or keep their Bermuda grass alive. They are doing well to survive.
I used to think it would be peak oil that puts a halt to suburban expansion, but now I believe it will be a lack of water. So now Oklahoma City is trying to buy water from Sardis Lake, and personally I hope the tribes refuse us, because we are wasteful, irresponsible and arrogant.
It should be illegal to water a lawn out of the public water supply. If you don’t catch it off your roof, then let it die. Our precious water should be limited to food production and drinking water. When we run out of potable water, it won’t make a shit how green your lawn is if you don’t have drinking water. Every homeowner should be required to catch water off the roof for incidental watering. Currently, rainwater, one of the cleanest forms of water, is considered “runoff.” Wastewater. Let it run down the sewer system to be contaminated by all the other toxins flushed down the sewer system.
Historically, societies do not change until after collapse. We see this crisis looming, but what will we choose to do to prepare? Green lawns or drinking water?
— Ron Ferrell Jones