Friday, April 11, 2008

The Water is Here!

It's not very pretty, but this is the water that will nourish our yards and gardens starting this week. And water farms further downstream. I happened to drive by just as the water was turned on for the canal system in my area of Boise. You can see bits of dead plants and trash in this photo, people were standing near the grills and gates downstream to fish out the debris. This particular canal is not lined with concrete, it's just a dirt trench. Canals criss-cross town and most of the state - Idaho is the most irrigated state in the nation. I remember being totally surprised when driving across the country that all those farm fields in the Midwest didn't have any canals, ditches or giant sprinkler systems, I always thought that was the only way to farm. People die in these canals every year. They think it looks like a nice place to swim, but the appeal is deceiving. The water is always very cold, it moves very fast and the banks are steep - making it hard to get out. About twenty years ago, kids would tie boards to canal bridges and "boogie board surf" against the current. I think a law was passed to try to stop that.

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