Splash! Storms were like throwing water in our faces, but every little bit helps
Hooray for rain!
That's the rightful message we all sent and received after three weeks of monsoonal moisture here in Southern Utah.
Sure, there was some flooding, and we feel bad for those who had to deal with that. But for the rest of us, the talk of drought and a lack of water for all of us was finally over.
Or was it?
Here's the thing about living in a desert: When it rains, it rains hard and fast and creates mud and floating debris. That kind of water, while helpful is not the answer.
"The issue that we have with the monsoons is they drop a lot of water really quick. And so the soil can't necessarily absorb all that and that's why we get a lot run off," said Washington County Water Conservancy District manager Zach Renstrom.
"One of the analogies I once heard is if you had a cup of water and you slowly drink it over 30 seconds you can get all that water into your body."
"But if somebody just throws that same cup of water in your face, you're not going to be able to drink it. It's all gonna run off of you. And that's the same with the soil. These monsoons are like throwing a bunch of water at you. Sure, you get some water in your mouth, but a lot of it just runs off."
But Renstrom was careful not to be negative about the rain and moisture.
"We love those long three-day storms where it's just that drizzle. That allows that soil just to slowly suck it up and allow that water to percolate down deeper into the soil. And and that also, that really helps get into the groundwater, too."
"When we get a big storm, we get a monsoon come through, it doesn't give us direct water to drink. But when we take a soil sample, we test it for moisture and it does help. Any drop of moisture that comes from the sky is a good thing. In fact, the last couple of years monsoon season came and went without the monsoon. So obviously even though it's not directly resulting in more drinking water right away, it's important."
Here's one of the really cool things about the monsoons and the moisture we did get and it's all thanks to you.
When it rains, people turn off their sprinklers.
"I think the average citizen in our community really does care and they want to do the right thing. We're very fortunate to live in amazing community where we really want to do the best thing and and help out our neighbors and so I think there's just a part of them just saying 'What's the right thing to do here?'"
Renstrom also mentions that there is a carrot for those who do the right thing.
"You know you can get rebates for this. There are smart sprinkler controllers, with WiFi and everything, where basically you put a controller on your house and it connects to your Wi-Fi. And then if a storm comes to the area, it'll turn it off automatically. And so it'll it'll tell you -- it's a little app and it'll pop up and it says rain delay."
"Some are a little bit more sophisticated where you can actually have sensors in the soil that'll they'll measure it. And if it's wet, it just turns it off. So that's also helping. And people can get really, really good rebates on those systems."
"If they go to our website, they can go to rebates and look that information up. And if you do it yourself, it'll come close it almost paying for it 100 percent.
The website is www.wcwcd.org. Then click on the rebates tab.
Turns out we can all be everyday heroes just by saving water. Every drop helps.