Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Iowa Drought Continues

Even though we are supposed to get upwards of 10" of snow tomorrow and it will create a lot of work for our maintenance team, we are alright with it. As you can see by the drought index map that I posted below, we are still in a severe drought in our county. It is going to take more than a 10" snow to recoup our water losses over the last 2 years to replenish our ground water and our aquifers. However this is a start.

We do have a well that we get our main supply of water from. Our well is over 2,800 feet deep and our pump sits at a depth of 900' below the surface. It has a 14" casing well with a 185 hp submersible pump. It is very capable of supplying our water needs to us each year. The aquifer that our well is tapped into is called the "Jordan Aquifer". Here is a statement about the Jordan Aquifer that I took off of another web site: The Jordan Aquifer is the largest source of groundwater, extending from northeast Iowa to south central Iowa, and is ultimately the source of much of Iowa's agricultural and industrial water. In addition to pollution threats, the aquifer is threatened by overuse in well-source irrigation, ethanol production, and the diminishment of resupply caused by extensive field tiling. The aquifer has dropped by as much as 300 feet since the 19th century, resulting in dry wells, the disappearance of natural surface springs, and the diminishment of water quality.

Our annual amount of precipitation in our county is 33" of precipitation in a calendar year. It does us no good to get it all at once. We need those nice gentle day long soaking rains to allow the moisture to get back into the ground and recharge our aquifers. Also a nice slow snow melt does a lot of good.

A couple of quick reminders for you to think about this spring. Make sure you understand the complete control of your home irrigation system. Turn it off if there is a prediction of rain. Since your lawn at home is not exposed to intense traffic it can tolerate drier conditions. Purchase a rain switch for your irrigation system. If you are sleeping at night and it is raining out this little tool stops your system and saves on a very valuable resource. If your business has a irrigation system please make sure that it too is cared for properly. Irrigation heads that water concrete are just wasting water! We all need to do our part.

So if you are like me you will not like shoveling the snow off the end of the driveway, off the sidewalks, or anywhere for that matter. Just remember we need it very badly to make the map below go back to normal.