The latest addition of the Petit Jean Country Headlight announced the institution of water use restrictions for Perryville and Perry County areas serviced by the city water supply. Provisions of the restrictions ban the use of water for car washing, driveway cleaning, swimming pools, and the watering of gardens. Yes the watering of gardens. I have two questions.
First, Perry County is covered in gardens. Most of which supply food to the growers. In some cases, like ours, they provide additional or the sole source of income for the gardeners. We have been told by our leaders in Perry County that it is now against the law to water our gardens. The sherrif and his deputies have been given the authority to turn off our water if we are caught in the heinous act of watering the gardens that supply our food. In addition, if caught, fines of $500.00 per instance may be levied against the criminal. Is it possible that this is just one step towards marginalizing and criminalizing one segment of our society simply because of our life style choice- that of self sufficient food production? (Of course, if I had my three wells equipped and running I wouldn't have to use city water for irrigation - how stupid am I?)
Secondly, in 2005 Perry County experienced drought like conditions and extreme water shortages much like we are entering into this summer and fall. Money was set aside, if I recall correctly, to improve the water system (expanding the Cedar Lake which is our source of water, and other improvements) In 2005 Perryville decided to run pipe from the Fourche River to Cedar Lake to refill the lake if it got too low. It was deemed unsafe for consumers, by the board of health, if this was done. Now in 2010, this money having gone somewhere else, Cedar Lake improvements not being made, no additional supply created or provided for, we are now under restrictions again and the solution? Once again they are talking about pipe being run from the Fourche River to Cedar Lake. Do we not need leaders that will take care of the basic things for Perry County residents like water rather than unneeded things like the annual Fourche River Days Biker Rally? I have nothing against bikers or biker rallies in general. But I do like to eat, I like having a reliable water source, and I don't like being criminalized if I water my garden.
I am reminded of a friend's catch-all advice when she feels hopeless. Maybe all we can do is pray...
"Oh God, heavenly Father, who by thy Son Jesus Christ hast promised to all those who seek thy kingdom and the righteousness thereof, all things necessary to their bodily sustenance; Send us, we beseech thee, in this our necessity, such moderate rain and showers, that we may receive the fruits of the earth to our comfort, and to thy honour; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
"O God, heavenly Fahter, whose gift it is that the rain doth fall, and the earth bring forth her increase; Behold, we beseech thee, the afflictions of thy people; increase the fruits of the earth by thy heavenly benediction; and grant that the scarcity and dearth, which we now most justly suffer for our sins, may, through thy goodness, be mercifully turned into plenty; for the love of Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and forever. Amen."
From the 1928 Common Book of Prayer, The Church of England