The importance and the magic of water
WATER! Yes, cool, fresh and refreshing WATER!
As I begin reflecting on the cusp of Thanksgiving, it grows out of a brief conversation with one of our granddaughters. She wanted to know what kind of “thanks list” I was coming up with for 2020. I responded, “We are grateful for continued health and distanced life in this wilderness time of viral threat.”
Then I added, “I’m digging deep for life’s essential ingredients, first and foremost WATER!”
Characteristic of our several grands is the frequently asked, “why?” I told her about my very first memory of fresh, amazing water at the hand pump for the well on my grandparents’ farmstead. It was the only source for household water. I used a little stool to be tall enough and pushed up and then pulled down to have a very chilly flow of water pour forth! That wonder and shiver that ran down my spine has remained vivid all these years. Later, I resonated with the discovery process of Helen Keller who wrote:
“I knew then that ‘w-a-t-e-r’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! T here were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away.”
Much later in adult life, it was my privilege to accompany on numerous occasions the late New Braunfels native, Professor Evelyn Streng (of T LU), escorting adults to the gushing source for the north fork of the Guadalupe just outside Hunt, Texas. You stretch out on your belly reaching down the bluff until the forceful thrust of cool waters leap forth and flowing swiftly toward the main river’s course. The “aha” that was manifest was such a wonder to behold.
We then spoke about how essential good, fresh water is for our health and the environment around us that nourishes so much of life. We observed what deprivation can look like on some gasping pastureland and all the pasture and wildlife dependent upon nurturing replenishing rainfall. Good stewardship calls forth prudent agricultural, irrigation and use practices to savor and sustain what available storehouses of water remain available.
That shifted our thoughts to the good fortune of our Comal County circumstances.
Unique on the Texas topographical map is the convergence of surface and subsurface water sources that have attracted ancient as well as modern civilizations and settlements.
We are among the beneficiaries of precious but not limitless water resources. How we go about as stewards of this gifted resource will have dramatic bearing on those who receive this legacy in the future. I assured my young questioner of her importance along with her contemporaries in helping define and practice conservation measures.
Discussion could have ensued about best practices and smart measures for flows into our aquifers, riparian stretches to filter waters when they come, best grasses and foliage to avoid “guzzlers” over the long haul. As she and her contemporaries are discovering it is a whole kaleidoscope of sciences that come into play.
Thanks in such a mode inspire actions and measures that enhance and strengthen our water resources. One but looks about in 2020 to observe the rapid multiplication of land parcels subdividing and covering natural sources. It makes sense (and cents, too) to look ahead and anticipate the need to set aside key parcels for natural preserves. You can join the discussion by heading to the website for Comal County Conservation Alliance (comalconservation.org). There and in our local libraries you will find resources galore! What a treasure, W A T E R — yes, cool refreshing waters.
This article “The importance and the magic of water” was written by Frank Dietz for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung as a monthly column for the Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA). You can access this article and more here.