welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

water conservation, butterflies, bad thing good thing

one of the local water conservation districts that controls water
use for the edwards aquifer/barton springs has declared stage 3
water restrictions
this covers a large number of people in the austin area and the 
barton springs area where large groups go to swim in cool clear
water in the heat of the summer as it comes up from the springs

now they are in stage 3 conservation and those barton springs are 
slowing down 
hopefully they wont stop flowing

all outside irrigation of lawns and landscaping is prohibited
only essential indoor water use is allowed
only lawns needed for fire protection are allowed to be watered
or watering to protect your foundation
no new water well drilling or new users are allowed during this 
stage 3 restrictions
these restrictions will probably be in force for several months

many of the wells will go dry in this area 
minimal use is recommended

we have a rainwater collection system for our only water source for
both our home and for our outside use
our last rainfall was in june and it wasnt much

as mentioned before when we got all of our rains last year and this
spring i had several tanks undone for repair and for new water line
so i missed several inches of rain that would probably have carried 
me through this long drought without problems

we have been on our own stage 3 maybe stage 4 water restrictions
what does that mean
if you come to visit bring your own water and go to the bathroom
before you come or you will have to do what we do 

we recycle as much of our shower and kitchen water as possible
we use an outdoor facility as much as possible to relieve ourself
(just like the old days but i refuse to use the old slop jar we 
bought at an antique store) i do have limits 
if its yellow let it mellow if its......

we have have low flow shower heads that use minimal flow
just ask anyone who comes to visit us about the flow
whine whine whine
we use the shower water to flush sometimes that saves 2.5 to 5 gallons
we dont run the water while we are brushing our teeth
i dont run the water when i shave-luckily i have a beard
we do a navy shower

any water or liquid that can be recycled in the kitchen is placed in 
a 5 gallon bucket to be used on plants outside or for flushing inside
we hand wash our dishes and rinse them but all of that water is 
used again inside or outside

our washing machine has low water use 
its a side open model

outside i drip irrigate everything that i will water 
most of my plantings are native and have been on their one for the
many of the non native plants havent survived
survival of the fittest is what thats called

my garden has only a few things and for that im drip irrigating also 

so this summer we had to order water delivered in bulk 
what that means is that a large truck like a gas tanker truck 
goes to a local source and brings you bulk potable water in 
large quantities of 3000 gallons or more (but is cheaper than 

only problem this time was that the fires in the austin area
caused a slow down in the availability of the water to these
bulk water trucks
also because of the drought and heat the water levels are
falling in all of the aquifers so many people in the hill country 
have wells that are dry now or are barely producing water
many of them are getting regular deliveries of water until
the water levels return or until they just give up and move

we watched as our water levels dropped to at one point to 
only 50 gallons of water that would easily be used up by 
a teenager taking a long shower

our stage 3/4 water restrictions managed to get us through
this crisis
we plan to continue those restrictions into the future
and realized that this is what may be a partial answer to the 
water problems we are in now and will be facing in this area and 
across the us

look at your water bill and look at how much water you are
paying for each month
we use 2500-3000 gallons a month
and dont feel like we are over restricting ourselves too much
just being reasonable

everyone needs to look at ways to save water
xericscape your yard
when this is over or this fall ill list those plants that look
good and have survived this drought without any watering
maybe those are the ones everyone should be using in their

why do we need all of that yard full of green grass anyway
we have removed all of our yard grass and xericaped it with 
mulch, raised beds of xeric plants and crushed granite
walk ways

we have learned to appreciate the water we have

dont wait too long to get that appreciation where you live
if you live in the area where we live it will be happening to you

the monarchs are coming
and they dont got no food to eat
please provide it
a local garden show recommended buying milkweed and lantana
and putting them in pots in your landscape so they would have 
blooms they could access
also provide dishes with sand in them that is kept moist
this provides minerals and water for the monarchs to access

the drought is a bad thing and has very few good things
associated with it 
but there are virtually no mosquitoes anywhere around our house 
and we have seen very few grasshoppers which have overran us 
the last few years
the chickens sure miss those grasshoppers though
now if they would just lay more eggs

the organicgreen doctor


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