By Kelly Winterton
The Bible says faith without works is dead. Should we really pray for snow and rain when we live in a desert? My memory is still fresh from a request by local church leaders to pray for less snow so that homes along the Weber River don’t flood. Heaven must laugh at us here in our earthly station as we pray for a mitigation of either drought or flood every second year.
But what, really, can we do about the weather? Most will say we can do nothing, but this doesn’t stop the Powers That Be from trying. Efforts to geo-engineer the climate started way back in the 1930s and continue at an accelerated pace to this day. They use the mitigation of global warming to justify their efforts.
Truth is, we live in the second driest state of the Union, and our population is not only growing, but our per capita use of water is increasing. These facts pit residential water users against ranchers and farmers. Both sides have valid concerns.
I am not against ranchers at all, but it takes a lot of water to produce a pound of beef. From sources I read, it takes about 13 pounds of grain and 2,400 gallons of water to get each pound of beef to your plate. That means that if you ate one pound of beef less, you would save more water than if you didn’t take a shower for six months. Because hygiene is very important, I am also not against residential use of water.
This is where your faith and prayers can turn into works.
Sixty percent of all water in Utah goes to irrigate our bluegrass lawns. The average turf area in Utah is over-watered by 200 percent. Turf requires more water and maintenance than any other type of landscaping. I satirically gave you the comparison above about eating a pound less meat to save 2,400 gallons of water, but we foolishly try to install a low-flow shower head while installing an automatic sprinkling system for our way-too-big lawn, giving it twice as much water as it needs.
Bluegrass only needs 18 gallons of water per square foot per year to perform acceptably. Other types of turf, like fescue, need less. A properly maintained vegetable garden will use nine gallons or less of water per square foot per year. (I am hereby dispelling the myth that a vegetable garden requires more water than turf.) We can do our part by not only praying, but actually analyzing our water needs and properly using our irrigation systems. We can also implement more of the fundamentals of Xeriscaping around our homes and businesses.
If we don’t take some action we will sound hypocritical to that God we pray to. Without actually trying to do something, we will find ourselves needing to pray again next year! Because, in the end, you cannot put any faith in the Powers That Be to geo-engineer our way out of this. They’ve been trying to do that for a century now and the results are still questionable.
I have written many articles in the past about drought and Xeriscaping. Please feel free to read some of these articles at https://sites.google.com/site/kellysgarden/ramblingsfromthegarden