We finally got rain yesterday and last night. I don’t think we have had any significant precipitation here in about 3 months. Edouard was headed straight for us, then broke up into little stormlets when it crossed the Balcones Escarpment (that happens a lot) and we got just a tiny amount of rain. One day MRA called in a panic to make sure the cats were in because it was raining hard (and he knows how oblivious I can be). It was raining three miles away, but here it didn’t even cloud up. We’ve had several cloudy days recently, with heavy rain showing on the Weather Underground radar all around us, but never coming through here. Finally, yesterday it got darker and darker and darker over about three hours and eventually we had about a tenth of an inch. But like at Camelot, the rain mostly falls after sundown here, and we ended up with about 1.8 inches. It’s a great relief, and I’m sure the aquifer needed the water. I know my plants did.
It has been such a dry summer that everyone’s water usage has been much higher than usual. I thought we must have a pipe leaking somewhere when I saw the water bill a couple of months ago, but no, we just had to water a lot. Little shortcomings in the sprinkler coverage have become very obvious as the grass fries here and there. The city water authority took it upon itself to publish the names of the top 10 water users, and guess who the “winner” was? Lance Armstrong. And he hasn’t even been home. I can’t quite figure out what the point was. They certainly aren’t motivating other people to cut down on their water usage. Now everyone can say, “Well, at least I’m using less than Lance.” And I find it really disturbing that they gave the list to the local paper, which then published quite a snotty article about all the rich and important people who are using a lot of water, some of whom couldn’t be bothered groveling to the reporter. But I’m less disturbed by the tone of the article (the Austin American Statesman isn’t the New York Times, after all) than by the fact that the water authority made the information available. What’s next? Articles about people who don’t call their mother much? People who leave their porch light on all night? People who are chronically late returning their library books? (I would be on that list. The library has started emailing me when my books are close to due. I’m trying to believe they are doing this with everyone now but I really feel singled out.) I know, water scarcity is serious (some places anyhow) but I say — raise the price, or set a household limit, or ban outdoor watering. Just don’t publish people’s utility bills.