Thursday, June 27, 2013

Skies Remain Dangerously Blue

Jerome is a small town . . . its population somewhere under 500 . . . and it's forms of communication with its residents  borders on colloquial.  A sign in the post office asked residents to please conserve water because the overflow from storage tanks was running only intermittently.  When I drove past yesterday the overflow was dry.

Jerome is an old copper mining community that once boasted a population of 15,000.  With a current population of only 400-plus
the town is experiencing the initial indications of a water crisis.
Jerome's water comes from an aquifer beneath Cleopatra Hill, captured in 3 water storage tanks and gravity fed to the town below.  The aquifer is replenished by precipitation.

In the last 6 weeks there has been about 1/8 inch of rain, hardly enough to reach the aquifer let alone replenish it.  As I've said in previous posts, if you want to see what the desert will support, "Just look out your backdoor."  It isn't much, yet the tree planting, car washing, and yard/garden watering go unabated.

This on 3 - 10 inches of rain annually.