I’ve walked this earth the past 42 years with a peculiar habit going on in between my years. Whenever I’m around water – and I mean every time I’m around water whether it’s raining, I’m near the river or lake, or taking a shower – Bob Nolan’s 1936 song “Cool Water” comes flooding into my brain.
I’ve known this song ever since I was in Mrs. Plummer’s sixth-grade class at Manzanita Elementary, and we would march down the hall for music class. This is when I learned “Cool Water.”
And I haven’t forgotten it.
It might be a song you would be interested in learning. There is going to be a lot of talk about “Cool Water” in the upcoming months and years, and it’s going to be about the drinking variety.
That wasn’t the case a few years ago. Kingman uses about 15,500 acre feet per year and that left plenty for years to come in the Hualapai basin.
Then came Kingman and Stockton Hill farms and that number grew. It didn’t double, triple or even quadruple. Water was in such abundance before then, no one thought to put the monitoring of water levels into law. That lack of forethought is now haunting us, as some estimates put the combined drainage from the farms at above 100,000 acre feet per year.
The City of Kingman and Mohave County governments have a lot of ground to make up. Water is now an issue, and it must be dealt with swiftly. While the city and county figure out what they can to stem the flow of water out of the basin, they’ll also have to begin working on how to get water into the basin.
Living in the desert, it’s likely all of us at one time or another have expressed how grateful we are when the rains come.
That is until you can’t cross Bank Street, travel down Fairgrounds Boulevard, or reach or oars while floating down Stockton Hill Road because of all the water.
And none of it, even the water that is captured in Monsoon Park (Green Hole), currently recharges the basin. A precious desert commodity is allowed to evaporate.
There are plans to capture this water that is floating out there, and those strategies are going to need support. The price tags may be shocking, but they’ll need to be dealt with.
And in the meantime, when you turn on the tap at your house you hopefully won’t have to deal with the thing I always have to handle.
“Cool Water,” swimming in my head.