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One Way To Conserve on the Ranch and Farm

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Agriculture and ranching consume a substantial amount of potable and pumped water around the country, and to some extent in Northern New Mexico. In some areas of the US, farms and livestock consume up to 60% of overall water use. This water is usually either clean, highly processed potable water or well water pumped from precious underground aquifers. This is not a great use for this water given that a cheaper, better and proven alternative is readily at hand. Rainwater is FREE and sometimes very plentiful even in the arid southwest; it is no wonder its use is growing for agriculture and for ranching purposes. Not only does using rainwater save processing and/or transporting water; it also saves energy and helps the environment.

A question I occasionally get from readers is, - "Is rainwater good for plants". I must admit I take long pause when I get this question. It is as if we have forgotten that our primary water source is the sky. If it were not for rain we would live in a very parched world. My great aunt caught rainwater for use on her summer garden; it has been a source of water for generations for both crops and livestock. My typical response is, - "Would you pour chlorine on your plants?" (Chlorine is used by most water utility companies to purify water before it arrives at your spigot.)

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