…. when your water vocabulary expands beyond water, tap, kitchen, bathroom, garden!!
It’s Friday (already!!) so it’s time for my Friday “You Know You’re In The Country When….” post. I’m going to keep following my water theme here after my previous posts about our water pump, the rain gauge and rain and dew.
In the city water was stuff that came out of my tap. It washed the dishes, freshened the clothes, flushed the toilet, splashed out of the shower head, on rare occasions filled the bath, washed away our toothpaste, watered the garden and helped clean everything.
A useful resource which always just came out of the tap when you turned it on. I rarely thought to check that it was there and flowing.
Then I moved to The GO where my vocabulary regarding water has expanded to include:
troughs (cement trough, horse trough, emergency trough, leaking trough), trough cover, windmill, taps, connectors (a gizillion sizes and materials – none of which fit when I need them to!!), check the cows’ water, pump (diesel, electric, genset, solar, submersible, booster, fire fighting), pumping capacity, pump shed, pump station, pipes (black, skinny, broken, polypipe, cement, copper, above ground, below ground), valves (ball valve, gate valve, stopper valve), fittings, guttering, tanks (galvo, cement, plastic, ground tank, feeder tank, storage tank, frogs in the tank!!!, over flowing tank, empty tank (which usually has a few adjectives added!!)), rain gauge, check the cows’ water, auto shut off, water level indicator, culverts, drains, dams, contours, banks, riparian fringe, channel, floodplain, swamp, wetlands, ground water, spring, irrigation, well, check the cows’ water, seeps, absorption, watershed, penetration, retention, aquifer, runoff, erosion, evaporation, hydrology, water cycle, infiltration, permeability, scour, check the cows’ water, water usage, head, pressure, flow, resistance, slope, rainfall, storm, water capture calculations, Rain Goddess, dowsing, Emoto, water crystals, consciousness, Schauberger, flow form, vortex, divining, pollution, elevation, check the cows’ water, capacity, peak demand, rate of flow, water quality, dew, suspended solids, stock water, check the cows’ water, ground cover, vegetation, water cycle….. did I mention you need to check the cows’ water??
Wow – I didn’t realise I knew all these words but as I slowly thought through all the aspects of water on The GO and our Australian landscapes these popped into my head. It’s not even exhaustive as I really haven’t even looked closely at words relating to cows consumption, microbiology, how water facilitates the cycling of resources through the landscape and in relation to grasses and soils.
Nor do I know that much about water. I have so much to learn to truly appreciate it. And therefore more words and their meaning of their impact on the landscape.
But cows’ needs for water for survival is one of the MOST important factors on the farm – hence my current need to learn more about water AND the related vocabulary. Sometimes, scarily, I am in “charge” of The GO and I have to check the cows’ water every day. I cross my fingers and whisper prayers to the “Everything is Working Perfectly” Goddess and hope I don’t have to try and fix something. Water can be just sooooo tricky when it goes wrong. (Luckily we are also blessed with fabulous, nice, “can-fix-anything” neighbours who willingly wave a spanner or other wand, and magically fix anything. Thank you “Plan B” Goddess for always giving us this friendly alternative.)
Living in the country, I’ve realised to a greater degree that water is not just a resource which endlessly flows out of a tap. It is a precious resource given to us freely from the heavens which we, as custodians of the land, have the responsibility to capture and retain in the landscape. We capture it through having healthy, hydrodynamically active landscapes where the soils and plants enable the absorption and retention of this precious, precious resource.
Rain is free yet priceless. If we let it slip through our fingers and gullies and soils, allowing it to wash our valuable soils downstream and into the oceans, it can not be recaptured. Once lost we never know in these changing climate times when it will cycle through our life and farms again. Like love, its best to capture it on first contact and nurture it like the precious asset it is – almost unseen but knowing we need it to be wholesome and alive. Without water, we die – us, our soils, our grasses, our livestock, our communities, our bank accounts.
Water is life. I need to better understand how to facilitate it staying around.