by Charlene Burgi
This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a few recent graduates of agriculture in my home. They were here for a huge wedding in a town not equipped to house all the guests invited. Luckily it was members of the wedding party and close friends of the bride and groom who were assigned to Chez Burgi's.
Morning conversations found us all sitting around discussing what these recent grads were doing with their majors. We also talked about life on their family ranches as well as their hopes and aspirations for the future. Their conversations were a breath of fresh air, for they all understood the value of water.
Merissa shared that her father carried thousands of gallons of water a day to his cattle for over 100 days in order to keep them alive during the drought here in California. Henry, a crop science major, discussed the concern he had for water waste and the need to conserve—not just pertaining to the ranchers, but the whole population. Emma worked part time at a dairy ranch in Mississippi while pursuing her master's degree in business agriculture. Her mission is to draw a parallel between the cost of growing crops and the costs of manufacturing such items as cotton shirts, denim jeans, and even leather goods. Water is a big contributing cost!
| Carrying water to the garden
Each guest spoke with passion about how water is vital for our survival as well as necessary for the products that we depend upon. The struggles they experienced as children of ranchers now carry into their respective jobs. They understand the proverb, "Only when you have carried your own water will you value every drop."
These enlightened new friends left Sunday morning, but their thoughts and enthusiasm remained long after the dust settled here. I could hear Henry stating he has read Cadillac Desert
twice and how that history impacted him. It made me wonder how I could share that kind of fervor with the readers of this blog? Have we become complacent knowing water will flow from the tap whenever we turn on the faucet? Do we need to carry buckets of water to our crops, i.e. vegetable gardens, and feel the weighted eight-plus pounds per one-gallon bucket to get the true meaning of the proverb mentioned above?
For all you who conserve, my heartfelt congratulations. I would also be remiss if I did not say a big thank you to all who work at Marin Municipal Water District keeping our water flowing to us safely, healthily, and efficiently. Water. The value is priceless.