Water is always somewhere in the minds of those who live in the Sonoran desert. To be honest, most times, the scarcity of it trickles through my consciousness. I sleep in the childlike belief that state planners have water stored somewhere for all the residents of Arizona. This week though, my community is asking some tough questions. Has development gone too far? Are we issuing too many building permits?
Why the these question? Because our wells are drying up. Some New River residents discovered that no state law exists to oversee how many permits can be issued to small builders as it relates to water availability. Not only do I see new houses springing up everywhere in my neighborhood, but I see existing homeowners bringing in drilling rigs, boring deeper into existing wells or trying to tap into new sources. Add to this the fact that on January 1st, water haulers will no longer be allowed to tap into the Phoenix water supply. (Haulers sell water to those who do not have a local source - homes that have dry wells or large subdivisions who provide water to residents by pumping from large storage containers.) This means water haulers will have to find other sources for their water, likely farther away, likely more expensive. Costs likely to be passed on to consumers.
This is one reality of water in the West. These circumstances affect not only my physical being, but my spiritual nature as well. The spirit so inextricably connected to the natural world that grounds my life and inspires my art ...
We gestate in a delicate sheath of water, are born into a body of water. Walk with joints and muscles lubricated by water. Wail with the sorrow of water.
Sprinkle. Float. Drip. Swallow. Dam. Baptize. Swim. Dive. Collect. Irrigate. Drink. Pipe. Skim. Wash. Sail. Flood. Sink. Gulp. Drain. Store. Tread. Navigate. Pour. Reflect.
Photo Credit: Cyd Peroni