Previous investments paid off in a big way during this year’s drought, and will help even more in the coming years.
When we’re faced with challenges in life, it is often in the time spent reflecting on the event that we learn a great deal about ourselves and others. In looking back on the drought of 2015, I learned a few things about the community I’ve called home for the last six years.
- Neighbors really do care about neighbors. I saw this repeatedly demonstrated when neighbors would call in to report flooding that was occurring on a vacationing homeowner’s property, which limited damage and saved water.
- People here know how to pull together when faced with adversity. When the watering schedule was implemented we hoped the schedule would lower peak demands to allow others to have water, which in previous drought years, wasn’t there. Thanks to everyone who followed the schedule! It allowed water to be moved around the system in order to meet demands.
- We have very good people running media organizations in our community. I took a couple of marketing classes in the 1980’s, but I never had to use what I had learned until this year. KID has a large and diverse customer base, with 23,250 accounts, which — according to the 2010 census — means that we were trying to reach over 60,000 people with a clear and concise message. Thankfully, I met media partners who knew more than I did and helped KID get the message out.
- The investment KID made in people, materials, and technology in recent years has paid off in a big way. Since the last drought in 2005, money collected from assessments was put to work hiring quality people to design canal lining projects, installing lining using KID crews rather than contracting the work out, and installing new technologies, such as automated gates, which allowed us to know where our water was relative to demand. The new technology was also used to remotely move water around to meet the watering schedules.
In the time to come, there will be more reflection and more lessons learned, but for now it is clear that proper planning and preparation paired with the gift of a conscientious and cooperative community resulted in a better-than-expected outcome this year. Therefore, as we look to the future and what the next year may bring, if a drought is declared, we will take these lessons to heart and repeat what worked, knowing we can count on our neighbors in the community.