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(Mother Nature Network)   When the government tells Texans there are water restrictions in place and they can't water the grass in their lawns, Texans just dig their own private wells   (mnn.com) divider line 48
    More: Obvious, Texas Tribune, hoses, Texas, water conservations, Texas Politics  
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4136 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Nov 2013 at 8:32 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



48 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-13 01:59:41 AM  
Come on subby, they're just drilling for THEIR water under THEIR property, they leave everyone else's water untouched. Why are you a communist for implying they should share in the common people's problems?
 
2013-11-13 02:06:09 AM  
Because
fuzzmartin.com
 
2013-11-13 03:09:15 AM  
Came for milkshake reference - not disappointed.
 
2013-11-13 06:00:28 AM  
"It's also worth noting that as of Sept. 1, homeowners associations across Texas - and there are a lot in certain parts of Austin and its burbs - can no longer prohibit homeowners from tearing up their lawns and embarking on "reasonable" xeriscaping projects."

:)
 
2013-11-13 08:10:27 AM  

phaseolus: "It's also worth noting that as of Sept. 1, homeowners associations across Texas - and there are a lot in certain parts of Austin and its burbs - can no longer prohibit homeowners from tearing up their lawns and embarking on "reasonable" xeriscaping projects."

:)


That would not fly here in NoVA.  The busybodies of the HOAs around here would have a farking heart attack.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-11-13 08:41:01 AM  
I am surprised residents owned water rights. I thought being able to legally dig a well was an eastern thing.
 
2013-11-13 08:43:20 AM  
nice aquifer you have there, be a shame you dip shiats greedily drank it all up
 
2013-11-13 08:44:45 AM  
i.chzbgr.com
 
2013-11-13 08:47:09 AM  
images2.wikia.nocookie.net

 This sapling is planted as an affirmation of life, in defiance of the drought, and with expectations of long life. Whatever comes, we will keep it alive, as a symbol of our survival.
 
2013-11-13 08:53:31 AM  

ZAZ: I am surprised residents owned water rights. I thought being able to legally dig a well was an eastern thing.


My father was in the business of well drilling, and my brother continued in it.  I never thought of it being an eastern thing, but more of a rural thing.  Dad never drilled wells for city folk, unless it was for a town or municipality.

There are drillers in the west, when living in San Diego I occasionally saw drilling & service rigs in the freeway, so they were working somewhere.  I bet they had to drill pretty deep though, the water levels vary drastically due to location.

We all share the water table....and that's a pretty good reason to ensure it's viability.

Ol' dad used to say frequently that my brother and I would likely live to see people fighting over water.  Hasn't happened here yet...but there are rumblings.
 
2013-11-13 08:53:58 AM  
What's more outrageous is the city decided to pass a law to screw people with wells and charge them a $90 annual fee to have a private well, on your own property. That's probably illegal.
 
2013-11-13 08:54:04 AM  
 
2013-11-13 08:55:28 AM  
Oh my FSM (bless his noodly appendages) ,  what could be more stupidly wasteful than watering a lawn ? ok, I've seen idiots watering their driveway, but still, why waste water on a lawn ?

IMO, if the local climate doesn't naturally support grass then you shouldn't try to grow grass for strictly decorative purposes. It is both wasteful and pointless.  Sort of like trying to keep snowmen in Arizona in August.

/I have a lawn
//It is nature's job to water it
 
2013-11-13 08:55:39 AM  
FTA: Just ask the thousands of lawn-conscious homeowners who have invested in residential turf painting.

I think this was in a Garfield cartoon, and it seemed nonsensical at the time, just like the refrigerator with a built-in TV. (pops)

Then again, there's also the smelloscope. THE FUTURE IS NOW.
 
2013-11-13 08:59:17 AM  

Representative of the unwashed masses: [images2.wikia.nocookie.net image 850x637]

 This sapling is planted as an affirmation of life, in defiance of the drought, and with expectations of long life. Whatever comes, we will keep it alive, as a symbol of our survival.


Damnation that was a terrific episode.  Very well conceived, with great character interaction and development.  Very pure science fiction.
 
2013-11-13 09:02:56 AM  

m3000: Come on subby, they're just drilling for THEIR water under THEIR property, they leave everyone else's water untouched. Why are you a communist for implying they should share in the common people's problems?


It's the Texas way.

I got mine and I got a gun so fark you all. Fark you in your stupid asses.
 
2013-11-13 09:06:02 AM  

kittyhas1000legs: FTA: Just ask the thousands of lawn-conscious homeowners who have invested in residential turf painting.

I think this was in a Garfield cartoon, and it seemed nonsensical at the time, just like the refrigerator with a built-in TV. (pops)

Then again, there's also the smelloscope. THE FUTURE IS NOW.

 
2013-11-13 09:07:28 AM  

aseras: What's more outrageous is the city decided to pass a law to screw people with wells and charge them a $90 annual fee to have a private well, on your own property. That's probably illegal.


Actually, it doesn't seem that outrageous. Presumably, the aquifer into which people are tapping isn't located only and exclusively under their own land.

IMHO, whether this is acceptable depends on what would happen if these were lakefront properties and homeowners were pumping water from the lake for their own purposes, would they have to pay a user fee ?  The aquifer is really no different, except the water is located below the house rather than in front of it.
 
2013-11-13 09:08:50 AM  
Lawns consume so much time and resources.  It is absolutley silly.  Gas for your mower, the mower itself, rakes, bags, twine, water, chemicals, fertilizers... its just dumb.

So much money, not to mention the impact of the small engines belching obscene amounts of crap into the air, AND the effect of the grasses not being allowed to grow to a natural height to be able to take more carbon out of the air.

I think we need to ignite the liberal faux outrage and get this outlawed.

/  not cause im lazy, but cause my yard tends to look like crap.
 
2013-11-13 09:10:33 AM  
If you have to water your lawn, you're either using the wrong grass or you shouldn't have grass in the first place.
 
2013-11-13 09:11:08 AM  
As fun as I'm sure it is to feed the trollblog, groundwater extraction is in fact still regulated, private wells are metered and given specific draw limits by the local water authority, and failing to comply with drought restrictions (in this case, a stage II alarm drought, so limits are reduced by 20%) is in fact still illegal and will get you fined.

Since we're at alarm stage and assuming you're maintaining your pre-drought usage using a private-scale well (<12 mil gallons/year) but not over-pumping beyond violating the drought requirement, under the Edwards/Barton Springs water authority you would be fined 50 to 100$/day for violating your drought limit reduction.

//There are such a thing as exempt wells, they require that you have more than ten acres of registered agricultural land... not really something you're going to see a lot in the 'burbs.
 
2013-11-13 09:48:16 AM  
This is not uncommon in the midwest. Usually, you just have to get a permit to dig and the water tested. As long as you follow their setup rules, there is not a lot they can do to you, except for some areas where they may tax you a little bit more.
 
2013-11-13 09:49:08 AM  

pkellmey: This is not uncommon in the midwest. Usually, you just have to get a permit to dig and the water tested. As long as you follow their setup rules, there is not a lot they can do to you, except for some areas where they may tax you a little bit more.


That being said, I can't understand why people water their grass unless if it's new seed.
 
2013-11-13 09:59:16 AM  

Endive Wombat: phaseolus: "It's also worth noting that as of Sept. 1, homeowners associations across Texas - and there are a lot in certain parts of Austin and its burbs - can no longer prohibit homeowners from tearing up their lawns and embarking on "reasonable" xeriscaping projects."

:)

That would not fly here in NoVA.  The busybodies of the HOAs around here would have a farking heart attack.


That would also solve the problem.
 
2013-11-13 10:03:07 AM  
Wells are not regulated here in WI - you have to have a permit to put one in, but the water usage is not restricted.

I water my lawn a lot but I also know the aquifer here refills and is generally stable.  Each year there's at least one or two articles in the newspaper in the spring saying how much the snow melt replenished the aquifer, and how it compared to previous years.

Once we got a giant rain system that moved through and dropped 7" of rain in just a few hours.  I remember them saying that filled the aquifer to higher than normal levels as well.

This is all good, because the soil around here is crap and the farmers in the area all have massive irrigation systems and pump millions of gallons of water every year.
 
2013-11-13 10:03:22 AM  
We're doing stealth xeriscaping in our yard.  We started with a bunch of sod, and little bitty islands of mulch.  Each year the mulch beds get bigger, with more native, non-invasive plants, and the sodded areas get a wee bit smaller.  We don't use the irrigation system that came with the house, and so far the HOA hasn't caught on.  Pretty soon, the only grass left will be right at the street, about 3-5 foot wide from one boundary line to the other.  We'll be able to use a reel mower and cut anytime, day or night.
 
2013-11-13 10:04:00 AM  

capt.hollister: IMHO, whether this is acceptable depends on what would happen if these were lakefront properties and homeowners were pumping water from the lake for their own purposes, would they have to pay a user fee ? The aquifer is really no different, except the water is located below the house rather than in front of it.


As it turns out, pumping from the local aquifer IS pumping from the lake.  Some lakes in Texas have dropped as a result of unprecedented pumping from the aquifer, lowering the water table.
 
2013-11-13 10:06:03 AM  

UNC_Samurai: If you have to water your lawn, you're either using the wrong grass or you shouldn't have grass in the first place.


Tell it to the HOA.  And if you can find a house built since WWII that doesn't have an HOA, good for you.
 
2013-11-13 10:08:28 AM  

pkellmey: I can't understand why people water their grass unless if it's new seed.


They water because the grass will die if they don't.
 
2013-11-13 10:08:34 AM  
And when the fracking companies get going, all those wells are going to be dry.
 
2013-11-13 10:08:38 AM  

pkellmey: That being said, I can't understand why people water their grass unless if it's new seed.


Because many places don't get enough precip for it to live.  Where I am at, if you want a lawn full of dirt, then you don't water. If you want grass, you have to water.  Pretty simple really
 
2013-11-13 10:12:37 AM  

HeadLever: pkellmey: That being said, I can't understand why people water their grass unless if it's new seed.

Because many places don't get enough precip for it to live.  Where I am at, if you want a lawn full of dirt, then you don't water. If you want grass, you have to water.  Pretty simple really


Xeriscaping and xerogardening is a much better way to go, and usually is much less labor and resource intensive if you are looking for simplicity.
 
2013-11-13 10:12:52 AM  

Jim_Callahan: There are such a thing as exempt wells, they require that you have more than ten acres of registered agricultural land... not really something you're going to see a lot in the 'burbs.


It does mean, though, that outside of urban areas Texan farmers and ranchers can suck as much water out of the ground as they please.  Which is exactly what they do, with predictable consequences.  Archaeologists love it, though, because they have been finding all sorts of interesting artifacts where the lakes used to be.
 
2013-11-13 10:21:42 AM  

flondrix: pkellmey: I can't understand why people water their grass unless if it's new seed.

They water because the grass will die if they don't.


And?

If your climate doesn't support grass, don't have grass.
 
2013-11-13 10:36:44 AM  

pkellmey: Xeriscaping and xerogardening is a much better way to go, and usually is much less labor and resource intensive if you are looking for simplicity.


True, and that is a fine option.  However, grass helps to cool the area much more than xeriscaping.  Where I am at, it used to be all farm fields and as the burbs moved in, they converted the ag irrigation into pumped irrigtion for landscaping uses.  Basically, the infrastrucutre and water was already there.  It provides a cheap and reliable source of water that works pretty well for everyone.
 
2013-11-13 10:40:54 AM  

Thingster: If your climate doesn't support grass, don't have grass.


Nope, I am going to have grass so long as it is cheap and easy to keep it green.  That being said, if it does get to the point that we have water restrictions, I'll be fine with letting it dry up.
 
2013-11-13 10:51:22 AM  

HeadLever: Thingster: If your climate doesn't support grass, don't have grass.

Nope, I am going to have grass so long as it is cheap and easy to keep it green.  That being said, if it does get to the point that we have water restrictions, I'll be fine with letting it dry up.


Great idea. Now, I wonder what kind of activities might lead to water restrictions being implemented....
 
2013-11-13 10:51:23 AM  
Off-the-grid is absent from The Man
 
2013-11-13 10:55:32 AM  

HeadLever: pkellmey: Xeriscaping and xerogardening is a much better way to go, and usually is much less labor and resource intensive if you are looking for simplicity.

True, and that is a fine option.  However, grass helps to cool the area much more than xeriscaping.  Where I am at, it used to be all farm fields and as the burbs moved in, they converted the ag irrigation into pumped irrigtion for landscaping uses.  Basically, the infrastrucutre and water was already there.  It provides a cheap and reliable source of water that works pretty well for everyone.


Yes, if the infrastructure is there, use it. I live in an HOA subdivision on former farm land. To start the lawns, the home builder put down sod in the middle of the hottest days in July, in the middle of a drought. Even people who watered everything for months looked like they lost their grass that first season. However, it grew back the following spring with a lot of local natural grasses creeping in. Those that sprayed out/removed the natural grasses are still battling their yard. The people who said "whatever grows, grows" now has a nice, green yard for the majority of the season with little effort except to cut it (and a small effort at weed removal in the spring). It doesn't look like golf courses, but no yard should in this region. If you are in an area that only supports dirt, there are always options like my one neighbor who went with astro turf from a wholesale sports goods corp., which the HOA was okay with.
 
2013-11-13 10:56:14 AM  

capt.hollister: Now, I wonder what kind of activities might lead to water restrictions being implemented....


Since the water usage here is dicated by water rights and is set by law, it will always be regional precipitation as the culprit.
 
2013-11-13 11:13:01 AM  

flondrix: UNC_Samurai: If you have to water your lawn, you're either using the wrong grass or you shouldn't have grass in the first place.

Tell it to the HOA.  And if you can find a house built since WWII that doesn't have an HOA, good for you.


Mine built in 1972...NO HOA!!
 
2013-11-13 12:13:16 PM  
This is why, as I've aged, I've become less happy with the average person.

Mass stupidity and selfishness.

Due to a massive population increase in Florida, where I live, the water table has dropped dramatically, causing shortages and sink holes. Yet they keep on packing in more and more residents and each time we have a drought, more and more folks ignore the water restrictions.

Most of our water comes from deep wells -- since in various areas, shallow ones are no longer possible. So anyone who draws from a well is affecting the water supply for everyone else in the vicinity.

As a kid, with my home being one of two on the wooded block, I could dig down 4 feet and hit ground water. Now, 40 years later, my home is one of 20+ in the same area and I'd have to dig more than 15 feet to get to real wet soil. Twenty-five years ago, my folks had to sink their well deeper as around 30 homes got built on the surrounding, previously undeveloped lots and all had ground wells. The city extended water lines out into my area and you are required to hook up -- if you don't, you can't later sell your house. Many folks hooked up and kept their ground wells for watering their lawns and filling their pools.

Now, during droughts, we have officials who drive around, spotting bright green lawns when others are brown and slapping fines on those fine, grass obsessed folks.

My lawn gets watered by nature. I never was real big on heavily watering the thing, because then I had to cut it, a task I abhor. I hate the smell of fresh cut grass in the morning -- or any other time for that matter.

My 'new' neighbors with their carefully maintained lawns have a bit of a problem with that, but, hey, I was here first and I didn't ask you to build over the beautiful wild woods, which naturally trapped water, right next to my property.

Those exclusive, high end housing developments that popped up along my road -- at least 4 of them -- seem to mandate lush, green lawns. Not to mention that in ground swimming pools have popped up all over the place.

Folks around here seem to feel it's their right to have their automatic sprinklers come on for 15 minutes to an hour just before dawn and you can't tell them differently.

Of course, everyone ignores the fact that massive development has affected the rain patterns of the state and the amount of ground water available.
 
2013-11-13 12:31:41 PM  

Thingster: flondrix: pkellmey: I can't understand why people water their grass unless if it's new seed.

They water because the grass will die if they don't.

And?

If your climate doesn't support grass, don't have grass.


And when the HOA forecloses on your house because your lawn does not consist of lush kentucy bluegrass of the specified length?
 
2013-11-13 12:53:20 PM  
Typical Texan mentality.

We're being asked to do something for the benefit of the community at large? Better figure out a way to grab what i can for myself.
 
2013-11-13 02:05:26 PM  

flondrix: pkellmey: I can't understand why people water their grass unless if it's new seed.

They water because the grass will die if they don't.


Cut it longer.

No seriously, Dad worked at a golf course and that's the secret.

If you leave it long in the summer, it'll go brown, but it'll come back in the fall and spring.  If that isn't the case, maybe you shouldn't have grass there in the first place (Looking at you, Las Vegas).

/and yes, f*ck HOA's.
 
2013-11-13 02:32:30 PM  

meyerkev: flondrix: pkellmey: I can't understand why people water their grass unless if it's new seed.

They water because the grass will die if they don't.

Cut it longer.

No seriously, Dad worked at a golf course and that's the secret.

If you leave it long in the summer, it'll go brown, but it'll come back in the fall and spring.  If that isn't the case, maybe you shouldn't have grass there in the first place (Looking at you, Las Vegas).

/and yes, f*ck HOA's.


I have been doing this for years. It also limits the number of weeds that can grow.
One other thing I do: in the spring I overseed by spreading fresh seed right on top of the remaining layer of snow. As the snow melts, the seed gets embedded in the soggy soil. No need to add water.

I maintain that watering grass is stupidly wasteful. HOAs who force people to do it should be sued and the people who run them placed in natural history museums as examples of living fossils. The 1950s are over, people today are aware that water usage carries an environmental cost and you should choose carefully how and where you are willing to incur that cost. Fortunately, I live in a place where summer water restrictions are a given despite our being being located on the shores of the mighty St-Lawrence. Very, very, few people around here water their lawns even on the days when they are allowed to. Those who do usually fall in the crazy anal-retentive neighbour category.
 
2013-11-13 04:21:20 PM  
there's nothing that Americans take more pride in than a glorious, well-groomed patch of turf out front

www.thes4p.com
 
2013-11-14 02:00:24 AM  
i had a well on my previous property and it was awesome; at the new place I intend to put in a 5-10k gallon cistern for rainwater collection, and have a pump and filter system drawing out of that for the house, and another connection for the untreated rainwater for irrigation. Unfortunately where I am at now there is not much groundwater or where there is groundwater it is quite salty.
 
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