Rain, Rain, Please Stay

” Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day. Little children want to play!”

I remember reciting this poem with my father many times while growing up in a sometimes wet and rainy upstate New York State. Rain was known to hinder our plans, and force us inside for yet another day. The thought of running out of rain never crossed our minds.

I live in Texas now. I’m sure, even if you are not from Texas, that you have heard about our drought situation. A combination of hotter than normal temperatures, decreased rainfall, and population increasing every day, has led us into a situation where we must have rain, and lots of it. We are not at liberty to chant it away. In fact, acts like rain dances are starting to sound quite appealing. Some towns are talking of resorting to recycling toilet waste water for human consumption. Apparently this practice is perfectly safe, but it still makes my stomach churn. Talk of another Dust Bowl is common. People are really starting to consider that we will run out water.

It has rained for almost two days straight, and not one person I know has complained. The increased water levels in our lakes is being celebrated; the problem is all this rain is having very little effect on our water levels. Why? The drought is so severe that water is not even making it to lakes. In order for rainwater to make it to rivers and lakes, first the ground has to be saturated. Simply put, it isn’t. Texas is in a serious state of affairs regarding our lack of water resources. So, instead of the traditional tale of wishing the water away, perhaps we should be chanting,

“Rain, rain, oh please stay, and rain again another day. You’ll stay longer, I like to think. Because we need the water to drink.”