We had a nice rain today. I have the windows open and the cross breeze gently passing me as I type is really wonderful. Reminds me of home. But I can't keep from wondering why the farm ponds around here still have not recovered.
I pass a good half dozen of them, ponds that is, between my home in downtown Clayton and my work on Aviation Blvd. These are just open field farm ponds. It doesn't look like any of them are spring fed, but still, not one of them is "full."
I don't pretend to know why that is ... simply not enough rain? ... something to do with reduced ground water tables? I don't know. I keep hoping they'll fill up with a couple of nice soaking tropical storms, but we had some nice rains over the winter and they never filled up. Never got close. Around the edges of pond after pond after pond here in west Johnston there are wide green patches of grasses growing on dry dirt where bream and sunfish were bedding this time two years ago.
Looking at the news stories above, you'd think we were in fairly good shape -- at least no one is sounding any alarms.
Then I read about a fish kill in Falls Lake.
Then I read about some Falls Lake areas closed to swimming because of bacteria.
Then I hear the lake is "impaired."
Then I get this email and newspaper article from Dean Naujoks, the Upper Neuse Riverkeeper:
I wanted to provide this article about declining water quality in Falls Lake that recently ran in the North Raleigh N&O. While I was out of town, there have been several articles that have run in the North Raleigh N&O, the Durham N&O and the Wake Weekly about the threatened status of Falls Lake and Durham’s plan to expand their urban boundary into Falls Lake Watershed. Neuse River Foundation has been working with local citizens from Durham to help stop the expansion of thousands of new homes and commercial development into Lick Creek and Little Lick Creek watershed (tributaries of Falls Lake that have steep slopes and highly erodible soils).
I wish the N&O would print these articles in the main paper so the rest of Wake County could read how their primary drinking water supply is being compromised. Please read below.
Here is the article Dean linked to.
"It may have just gotten recognized as impaired this year, but Falls Lake has had a lot of problems for some time," said Burkholder, a professor at N.C. State University and director of its Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology. "The water quality is clearly degraded, especially at the upper end of the reservoir."
The declining quality of the lake, which provides drinking water for people in Raleigh and six other Wake County towns, is making the provision of clean water to the taps of citizens more and more complex.
"The raw water quality is getting worse," said Dale Crisp, Raleigh's public utilities director. "We have to adjust our treatment techniques to make up for that. And what that ultimately translates to is higher costs."
And I wonder if someone shouldn't be sounding a few alarms. Do you know where (what body of water) your tap water originally comes from?