Water, water everywhere

Maybe it hasnít rained every day this summer, but it sure feels like it. Iíve heard countless people grumbling about the weather these last few weeks and Iíll admit that there have been times Iíve been one of them. Especially after my golf league got rained out for the third week in a row.

But in general, Iím thankful every time it rains. All that precipitation is, after all, why our corner of the world is so lush and green. In fact, water is without a doubt one of our most valuable natural resources. Weíre blessed with an abundant supply of water and regular precipitation, not to mention plenty of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.

So much so, that weíre a bit spoiled. Most of us donít know what itís like not to have fresh, clean water to drink. We donít need have to water our lawns for the most part, and most farmers donít need to worry about irrigating their fields. Struck by a sudden urge to go fishing? Youíre spoiled for choice.

I know, everything is better in moderation, as our area learned the hard way with the flooding a few summers ago. But weíre not at that level yet, thankfully, and hopefully we donít have a repeat performance.

For the most part, we all take it for granted. I didnít realize how much so until I moved to Colorado in 2003. I spend five years living in the western part of the state, where the western slope of the Colorado Rockies meets the High Plains desert. The landscape there was so vastly different than what I was used to, much of it carved by the elements from layers of red rock. I was used to trees, lots of them, in every shape and size. Theyíre not so plentiful there. It took me awhile to adjust, to even be able to appreciate its beauty.

It even took me time to understand it. Growing up on a piece of property that had more underground aquifers and springs than I could count, I had never given ďwater rightsĒ a second thought. My knowledge of them was strictly limited to what I had gleaned from Old Westerns and the Louis LíAmour books my father used to read. But in Colorado, they are big business. People buy property just for the water that goes with it. They argue with their neighbors over how it is used and hire high priced attorneys to navigate the vagaries of the law.

Of course, there was the upside of living in Colorado as well. Like the 300 days of sun they get every year, compared to our area, which I understand has the lowest number of fully sunny days in the U.S. Something around 30, Iíve heard, but not been able to verify.

Itís easy on those gray and dreary days, to gripe and moan about the weather. But this time of year, when I see how green everything is, it makes me feel better.

That said, I can enjoy all that green a whole lot more on a bright, sunny day.

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