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Despite This for Feb. 18. 2010

Hauling water

by Carol Dunn

HUERFANO- If you have a well, don’t ever brag about how many gallons a minute it yields or how shallow it is.  If the person you are bragging to has to haul water they will probably bean you on the head with a cast iron skillet.  For some people, hauling water is a way of life.  They’ve been doing it longer than they’ve been picking adobe bugs out of their coffee.  You can pay your electric bill late once in a while, but you’d better not forget to fill your cistern.  Otherwise you’re going to miss your shower and smell and your hair will look greasy.  If you already smell and your hair is already greasy, then you won’t have water to cook with or do laundry, and your spouse will bean you with a cast iron skillet.

    Hauling water is an especially thankless job when the roads are treacherous.  You’ve got this big thing full of water sloshing around in the back of your pickup with a momentum all its own, and you’re trying to negotiate curves that fully conform to the law of centrifugal force.  It’s like riding your motorcycle with a bull sitting on the back and he’s leaning the wrong way.

    Hauling water is about as much fun as having a root canal without anesthetic.  Water haulers have to find ways to cut their water use so they’re not running to Town to fill up their tank every other day.  Living on a water budget means a lot of things that you might not think of.  You can’t let the water run willy nilly while you’re brushing your teeth – if you don’t brush your teeth, this is not such a big issue.  Another thing, you are pretty choosy about when you flush your toilet – if you have a toilet.  People on a tight water budget use the old adage, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown flush it down.”

    Besides Coloradans, people in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and Mexico all use water that originates in Colorado.  I’m fairly sure that people in LA would rather have their fingernails pulled out with pliers than “let it mellow” in their toilets.  In the unfortunate years that we lived in Southern California, I saw countless homeowners washing their driveways by squirting a billion gallons of water with a garden hose till there was a stream flowing into the storm sewer about as big as the Gunnison flowing through the Black Canyon.  Then they would water their “lawns.” Face it, grass was not meant to grow in the arid states or it would grow there without being watered three times a day.  And the grass looks about as real as Jim Traficant’s toupee.

    Think about everything you use water for.  Then send a card of encouragement to someone who hauls water.  They could use it.

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