A few years back I heard local Democrat-about-town David Erdman give a talk on Charlotte geography, which included this memorable nugget: southern Mecklenburg County is the hottest, driest part of the state. He had rainfall and temperature maps to prove the point.
I'm reminded of that, looking at the map accompanying this USA Today story that the first two months of 2009 are the driest on record in this country. (Figures that the year of horrible news would include a huge drought as well.) Note on the map how the only part of North Carolina in the red, "extreme drought" zone is -- surprise! -- not southern Mecklenburg. Looks more like Rutherford, Polk and Cleveland counties, where there are, indeed, farmers who need the rain instead of city- and suburban-dwellers who just want lawns.
Which brings me to my two points:
1. First, patronize local farmers because it's smarter, long-range, to ensure that we have a good food supply in this part of the country and don't have to depend on veggies trucked in from California and other faraway places. If you want to "save open space" and "preserve farmland" then for pete's sake, think about preserving farmers as well. Here's a link to a column I wrote on the topic in November.
2. And second, what's with watering the lawn all summer? It's a huge waste of a precious resource. If you have fescue grass -- which most people here do -- it naturally goes dormant in hot weather and will revive in the fall. Water it every 2 or 3 weeks to keep it from dying. If you see someone with a green lawn in July, you're looking at someone wasting our water.