August 12, 2008

Our Magician

We called Merlan the Ditch Rider for a dose of irrigation water today. (His name reminds one of the magician, doesn’t it? And he does bring us water, which is kind of magical in this semi-arid land) We asked for just an hour of water to hit the driest spots, but when the pipes came on, the flow seemed down. We checked with Merlan, who checked around and found that one user was a little slow on shutting down his system. Another was “priming his pipes” and turned on two hours early. A third fellow was just outright stealing, no real excuses. Merlan said “the guy must think I’m napping instead of out looking around.” Seems that everyone believes that it’s okay to try to cheat, and just hope you don’t get caught.
Anyway, appropriate adjustments will be made. From previous experience, we have found Merlan to be imminently fair. I’m sure he’s heard every excuse in the book, including “the dog ate my control valve” or some such. Even in the year we’ve been in the system, we’ve had previous incidents. One guy left his spigot on for a couple of extra hours. Another time someone, maybe the same guy as was guilty this time, was caught stealing. Seems to be much more commonplace than one would think. At least we’re not having range wars over water … yet. But I'll keep the ghost of John Wayne on speed dial just in case.
Anyway, we got some water on the dry spots today. Daisy had a good time racing through the puddles. No blown pipes this time. No gushers. Pretty boring, huh? And we still have enough water left for one more irrigation in September.
Next year we’re supposed to go to a pod system, which should be easier to monitor and a much more efficient use of our water. If everyone goes to pods or wheel lines, both more efficient than flooding, maybe there will be less motivation for “forgetting” or “priming” or outright theft.


  1. Home, home on the range!
    Where the dogs and the horses roam....

    Who knew you'd go from romance writer to rancher?

  2. To me it sounds like you might have to get the guns out. I thought it was a law in Utah to have them guns--probably to help with the water dispute.

  3. Must not be many consequences for stealing, huh? Lame.



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