Southwest Water History – The American Canal

Historically, water has always been a problem in the American southwest. In the 19th century, the problem was either too much water or too little. Too much came in the form of sporadic, intense storms producing uncontrollable flood waters which destroyed everything in its path. Too little resulted from prolonged drought conditions or attempts to … Continue reading Southwest Water History – The American Canal

Arizona Water History – Marshaling Martial Law

Arizona’s history is colored by feuds and fights; the most famous being the OK Corral in Tombstone. One of the most protracted fights in Arizona history was with California over water allocations from the Colorado River.  Political leaders in both states have fought bitterly over water rights for decades. Threats of fistfights and filibusters were … Continue reading Arizona Water History – Marshaling Martial Law

The Hard Truth about Soft Water

Salt… It’s a known killer but probably not in the way you think. Most of us know the health impacts of too much salt in our diets, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and edema. Though few of us probably think about how salt from our water softeners may hurt our landscape plants. “Hard … Continue reading The Hard Truth about Soft Water

What’s a Wildlife Guzzler?

Wildlife guzzlers….have you heard of them? They sound like a two-can party hat worn by the frat boys in “Animal House” but they are not. They are simple devices that collect rainwater for use by animals in rural or remote areas. Guzzlers can range from homemade designs using 30 or 55-gallon plastic barrels to in-ground, networked … Continue reading What’s a Wildlife Guzzler?

Is water a God-given right?

Most people think access to water is a God-given right, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. History is filled with legal precedents trying to resolve basic water rights; essentially sorting out the “haves versus the have-nots”. Even today, in water-scarce areas like South Africa and the Middle East, unstable governments are allowing private … Continue reading Is water a God-given right?

“Honey, go check the pump”

As you head to the kitchen to make your first pot of morning brew, imagine turning on the faucet and no water comes out.  How would you feel? What thoughts would go through your head? If you’re a rural homeowner, you may wonder if the circuit breaker got tripped for your water pump or worse, … Continue reading “Honey, go check the pump”

Paving the Way with Porous Pavement

Here’s an engineering riddle:  What has the texture of a Rice Krispie treat but is strong enough to support a fire truck? No, it’s not a snack for Superman. It’s permeable pavement. Permeable pavement, also commonly referred to as pervious or porous pavement, is often created using either asphalt or concrete.  It can also include … Continue reading Paving the Way with Porous Pavement