My thoughts exactly.
All the more reason to start now.
I took out some grass earlier this year and replaced it with landscape rock. There is landscape fabric underneath the rock, but every once in a while I will see a weed creep through. I know that’s inevitable, but I was hoping to spray some of those areas with total vegetation killer and avoid hand picking the weeds? Anyone tried that, does that work?
I used to hit it with Roundup. But this year and last I’ve just pulled them. If you stay on top of it (say every 3 or 4 days in the spring, and once a week in the summer) it isn’t too bad.
I’ve always thought it funny that people put down landscape fabric and expect it to stop all weeds, as if they are immerging from the center of the earth or something. Weed seeds are blown in from your neighbors crappy back yard, and will germinate in your gravel the next time it rains a few drops.
If I remember, it also takes a ton of electricity.
Eat Mor Chikin!
I think you’re both correct, but if there’s a will there’s a way. We know it can be done, now how can it be done more efficiently and cost effectively? I also realize the West Coast isn’t exactly a bastion for less govt, but perhaps less govt may help the market roll better for reverse osmosis.
I want to drain my pool and refill it for no reason at all.
Ok, first I have to get a pool…
Seriously though, In Salt Lake Valley there is a lot of secondary water that could be used for irrigation that right now isn’t being used at all because the farms it served are gone, and nobody is going to pay to clean that water up for culinary use. Add to it the reuse water that could be used for outdoor irrigation and really the pressure our culinary water systems are experiencing will reduce.
If the ag folks upgrade their irrigation techniques, even more water could be saved or used or other outdoor uses.
Great points. It just shows how many angles there are to the problem.
For me, often, the weeds are not coming through the barrier, it’s the silt/dirt that has settled on top of the barrier from which the weeds are growing. Real easy to pull as the roots are just that shallow.
They don’t need to completely switch to a different livelihood but they can start by switching to less water intensive crops. Just by switching to Timothy grass from alfalfa saves quite a bit of water. And I know that other grasses use even less water. That change covers the cattle feed piece.
A cash crop switch to something like hemp could replace the alfalfa export crop. There are plenty of other places in the US and that have better conditions for growing alfalfa which do not require the level of irrigation that Utah requires. Lots of farms near my uncle’s farm in Alberta grow alfalfa without irrigation at all.
Another option is to grow Canola which I know requires less water than alfalfa and is a very valuable crop. It would probably take a company like Richardson oil seed setting up a crushing facility in Utah but that is not a huge stretch really.
Interesting ideas, @guba. I know nothing about farming so I learned a lot. I imagine the farm lobby will have different ideas. I also don’t know how the government can control what a farmer grows, as long as it’s legal. Maybe they just need to make it more attractive to grow other crops.
I wonder if the golf courses have lobbyists. It’s astonishing how much water they consume. They ought to be higher on the list of reform targets than farming.
I think the biggest and easiest way for government to influence the types of crops grown in Utah is to change how much farmers pay for water. Currently the low cost of water offers no incentive to adjust away from water intensive crops. If the state collected the true full cost of irrigation water it would likely lead to crop changes or changes in irrigation practices. It’s easy to say of course but hard to do in practice because farmers have a lot of influence in Utah Republican party politics.
I read a couple sources today that said 7-8% of the population has been on a golf course in the past year.
Spending 25% of our overall water resources to provide an optional recreation activity for that subset of the population seems completely insane to this non-golfer.
I’m a very casual golfer and I question the way that golf courses are setup here. You could still have good courses with a lot less water use than current practice.
Although we have some farmland (where someone else grows alfalfa) I’m not a farmer and have no real dog in the fight. So I looked around and found this. It’s just interesting. Read the summary on the first page. (Link is below graphic.)
Last time I looked, the gub’ment pays farmers to not grow and then to grow specific crops. That gub’ment handout remains sacrosanct. Maybe we need to get rid of those gub’ment handouts altogether.
I.E., not much.
You said what I was thinking.