The widespread rain over Memorial Day weekend and the pleasant temperatures for the past couple of weeks have finally brought Mason a brief taste of spring. It seems that the rains were a little too late to have much of an impact on the bluebonnets earlier, but the vast variety of other wildflowers are putting on a colorful and lovely presentation throughout the County. It is a joy to see the many different reds, yellows and oranges blooming along the roads and in the pastures, and a wonder to see the intense green of the trees and grass after so many months of brittle dryness. It is truly wonderful to have the landscape respond to the recent rains, but there is also a bit of a challenge and concern when residents think that they can keep the grass and plantings looking as fresh all summer.
The slow soaking rains of a week ago made a huge difference, but we have to remember that for the previous months and years we have been under the stress of sever dry weather and drought. We have not even begun to approach the “normal” arid conditions that we have and are dozens of inches short on rainfall for the past few years. The ground water in the lakes in the region are still at only 35% or less of normal capacity and some of our neighboring towns that rely on the water in rivers or lakes are working with only a 90 day supply of this essential resource. In Mason we are blessed to have the deep wells that tap into the Hickory Underground Aquifer, and we have not seen a dramatic reduction in our water reserves in recent years, however we are still very concerned that all of our residents be careful of how you use and particularly how you might be wasting water in your daily activities.
The test well that we get regular readings from is showing that the static water level has slowly dropped just a couple of feet over the past several months, but we also see that it is not recovering from heavy pumping of the local cells of the aquifer as well as it has in the past. As every rancher can tell you, the water levels have been significantly impacted by the years of drought we have had, and the recent rains are a great blessing but they will not be enough to reverse the depletion of our water resources. Undoubtedly we will have more rain in the coming months and years, but the effects of this drought will be felt for long after the bountiful rains that will come when God so chooses to bless us. It is our responsibility to be good stewards of the current resources we have, and that is what we at the City are asking each of you to consider as you use water every day.
In the coming weeks we expect to announce that mandatory water restrictions will apply to our town, and presently we continue to recommend careful water usage. If you see your lawn drying out and need to water, we ask that you do so between late evening hours and mid-morning hours so as to reduce the water loss from wind and evaporation. We also ask that you water you landscape no more than twice a week, and be very aware of any overwatering that runs off from the needed area and does no good in the street or other non-growing areas. Inside your home there are several tips for saving water, and I will be addressing them in other articles soon. Most importantly, if you think there may be a water leak on your property, whether you can see a problem or not, our new automatic reading water meters keep a record of water usage and our water crews can come by with a laptop and give you a good idea of how much might be leaking and where the leak might be discovered. We have seen a number of residents find a way to reduce their water bill and save a good deal of wastage of water, so if you think you might have a problem call the City office at 346-6449 and we will get back to you and see if we can help.
Mason is a great community and looking around right now it is wonderfully green and growing. If we all cooperate and work together, there will continue to be plenty of water for all of us, and our future generations will continue to be blessed to live in a place that is truly an “oasis” in the midst of a dry and sometimes crazy world.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent