The more plants we grow, the more water we put in the air, because they suck it out of the soil efficiently. That grass lawns take a lot of water is a good thing; please love and care for yours. Or plant a thirsty ground cover like creeping jenny or blue star creeper that you don’t have to mow.
We live in a city on a river, from which we take our water. We are relatively close to the ocean, from which our prevailing winds come, and they blow upriver. The water that we throw into the air with sprinklers and misters cannot be wasted; we have plenty of it, and throwing it in the air makes more. It’s so clean that you can grow pitcher plants in it.
It cleans the air where it runs and cools and humidifies the neighborhood. It blows up river and falls as rain, filling our Rogue River and the Klamath. It makes rain in Medford, a slightly higher elevation. It can even make wet thunderstorms here, instead of dry lightning. It can cycle several times in the course of moving east or even in our bowl of a valley, if we just throw enough water around.
We used to do just that in the mid-eighties, when the vast majority of us were still watering lawns, and the farms around us were being fully farmed and irrigated. I remember wet thunderstorms nearly every week when I lived here in the summers of ’85 and ’86, rather than dry lightning and forest fires.
The farmers in the Klamath basin cannot use the Klamath River water because the Indians have claimed the salmon’s share; they are at the top of the river, not near the end. We in the Rogue Valley can make rain for them, and for us. Please water your yards, and spread the word.