This weekend I visited my home town, Wichita Falls, TX. The city that has the Texas Legislature talking about the future of water in Texas. Unless the local weather patterns change drastically from the past several years, Wichita Falls will likely be out of water at the end of the year.
In my visit I got a little taste of the measures they are taking to conserve water and lower usage. The city has declared Stage 2 drought conditions, which means that residents can water their lawns only one day per week, from midnight to sunrise. Residents, however, have found a way around this. As I walked through my parents neighborhood I realized why there were lush green lawns across town. While it is easy to get caught watering your lawn with a big sprinkler display, if you lay soaker-hoses throughout your lawn you can water without attracting attention to yourself. After all, they do have the right to water their turf grass, and who is going to tell them otherwise?
The city has also decided to allow the local water park, Castaway Cove, to open for business in two weeks, running a wave pool, lazy river, slides and other pools and rides. My grandfather told me he is adding half an inch to an inch a day to keep his small residential pool full (which has also not been stopped by the city). I cannot even imagine how much water will be lost to evaporation at the water park.
“So,” you might be asking, “If the city and residents aren’t taking measure to slow their loss of water, what is their plan?” Well… they’re going to let God figure that out. In lawns across the city, small blue yard signs are posted, reading, “Pray for Rain,” referencing 1 Thessalonians 5:17: Pray without ceasing.
To increase the irony even further, the yards with these signs were, almost without fail, among the greenest yards in their neighborhoods. “Pray for Rain!” Because I’m sure as hell not going to stop watering my lawn!
Businesses are getting in on the action, as well. Perm-O-Green, a yard service company, has continued to fertilize customer’s yards on normal schedules, without consultation with customers beforehand. Once a yard has been fertilized, if it is not watered you can be sure that the grass will not just remain dormant, but actually die. But don’t worry, they have a plan, too:
It’s not a different plan, but obviously they aren’t too worried about coming up with creative solutions.
So this is the plan. To act like nothing is happening. To wait for sky-daddy to come to the rescue. But when that doesn’t work, it is the rest of Texas that will be making sacrifices to ensure the safety and continuance of Wichita Falls. It is our water that we will find a way to get to them, and it is our tax dollars that will be used to do so.