A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall . . .

 A few months ago, I was talking to Mom.  The conversation ambled around, as most of our conversations do given how similar I am to the tree I fell from, when out of the blue Mom said, darkly, “Well, some people don’t turn off the water when they brush their teeth.  They just leave it running.  It’s wasting water.”

Now this is a potentially big minefield for a myriad of reasons, so I said, “Well, Mom, not everyone lived in San Antonio during bad drought years.  Some people don’t understand drought on that kind of level.”

You see, from 1949 to roughly 1956, the eastern part of the Edwards Plateau (a region in Texas where my mother grew up) had a drought about as bad as the one in the Great Plains during the 1930s.

I got to thinking about this conversation when we were in Chapel Hill, N.C. a few weeks ago.  Marilyn, one of The Dude’s relatives, said to me, “You’ve been getting all the rain this year.  We need it here.  Everything is drying up and dying.”

I could understand her frustration.  Here in Central Texas, we struggle with drought.  A lot.  Austin seems especially prone to it.  I’ve seen months when every county around ours is getting rain and we’re the big dry spot in the middle. 

What I didn’t tell Marilyn is that she and everyone else in the Southeast better gird their loins and get used to drought.  Odds are they’re going to be seeing a lot more of it.

Atlanta, shockingly enough, is almost out of water — as in down to about a 90-day supply.  And now the governor is a battle with the Army Corps of Engineers over whether there’s a water  emergency at all. 

We’re so used to drought here in Austin that they print up the lawn-water rotation days and include them with electric statements.  And residents of California are plenty familiar with water shortages.  Those of us in traditional drought-prone states are the lucky ones.  We already know – on a baby level – what it is to deal with a lack of water.

Water scarcity is going to be the next big oil crisis.  (Along with, you know, the next big oil crisis.)

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