By JP Smith, Dove of the Desert UMC, EarthKeeper
“In a First, U.S. Declares Shortage on Colorado River, Forcing Water Cuts
Arizona farmers will take the initial brunt, but wider reductions loom as climate change continues to affect flows into the river.”(1)
OK… we are now living in a new water paradigm. The low water table trigger in Lake Mead has been reached and mandatory water conservation measures have begun in the West. Initially, this will affect farmers who will have to let some fields lay fallow; this will increase our grocery bills. Do you have some ideas how to conserve water? Here are a few that came to mind:
- Look For The WaterSense Logo- products in your home and landscape are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be a minimum of 20% more efficient without impacting performance. https://www.epa.gov/watersense/landscape-water-budget-tool
- Check For Leaks Using The Smart Home Water Guide- visit the website at www.smarthomewaterguide.org to learn how to detect leaks outdoors or in.
- Install A High-Efficiency Shower Head- some save more than 2,200 gallons of water a year, saving 300 KW of electricity. ($$)
- Replace That Antique Washing Machine- Look for a High Efficiency (HE) model that will use a fraction of the water with a couple of tablespoons of soap or dehydrated soap. We like Tru Earth. https://www.tru.earth/Store/Tru-Earth-Eco-strips-Laundry-Detergent-FL-32
- Today Is The Day To Start Your Garden- This is the season to plant your home or church garden! Plant an Edible Landscape in your flowerbed. Contact the author or the U of A Cooperative for a list of veggies to plant. Remember, food isn’t getting cheaper. Tip: only plant what you are eating regularly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZxA21jmzvw
Some other thoughts that come to mind that may help you feel empowered:
- Announcing their newest platform to support incredible teachers in high-quality STEM and environmental education. The EarthEcho Academy is a new virtual learning space developed to provide online courses for teacher professional learning with access to fully remote, asynchronous environmental education modules for students featuring some of our most popular NGSS-aligned classroom resources like EarthEcho Expedition: Into the Dead Zone. (2)
- We believe water is a sacred gift from God. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 21:6 When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? Ezekiel 34:18. (3)
- Join the UMC EarthKeepers. Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, anti-racism, community organizing, and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training. (4) To be trained via Global Missions, contact the Rev. Jenny Phillips, . Rev. Phillips is the senior technical advisor, Environmental Sustainability. You are welcome to use my name as a reference.
- Visit the Desert Southwest Conference Earth Care Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DSCearthcare.
- “The Lakota phrase “Mní wičhóni,” or “Water is life,” has become a new national protest anthem. For Native Americans, water does not only sustain life – it is sacred.” What actions can you take right now to protect God’s gift? (5)
O sisters, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray (6)
(1) New York Times, Henry Fountain, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/16/climate/colorado-river-water-cuts.html
(2) EarthEcho International, https://www.earthecho.org
(3) Church & Society, 2016 UMC Book of Resolutions, #1033.
(4) Global Ministries EarthKeepers, https://umcmission.org/earthkeepers/
(5) 2018 Bioneers Indigenous Forum Presentation, https://bioneers.org/mni-wichoni-water-is-life/
(6) Down To The River To Pray, Alison Krauss and Union Station.