It is hard to quantify that much water. Picturing six million plastic gallon milk jugs is hard to do as well, but that's how much water the City of Le Mars can pump from its wells every 24 hours.
When you take into account the needs of the households in the community -- bathing, preparing food, washing clothes and dishes and using the bathroom -- six million gallons seems like enough water to last a long time.
But there are other businesses that need water, including industries that rely heavily on water to manufacture their goods. There are service industries that need to prepare food, do laundry, wash cars.
Let's not forget the hospital and other health care providers.
That mound of six million gallon jugs is getting smaller now, isn't it?
Let's take it even farther down.
It's been a hot and dry summer. People like their lawns to look green and lush. It's almost a primal thing to want to be surrounded by natural beauty, to have some refuge from the stresses of everyday life.
If you want a green yard, colorful flowers and vegetables and Mother Nature isn't doing her part, what do you do?
Hook up the hoses or turn on the sprinkling system.
Watch those gallon jugs disappear now...
It makes sense that the Le Mars City Council earlier this week approved a voluntary watering restriction.
It will work like the parking ban that takes affect during snow emergencies. If you have an even numbered home, water on even numbered days. Odd number address? You get to water on odd numbered days.
It is a simple, common-sense solution to the problem at hand. We all need to cooperate and make sure a compulsory ban isn't placed.
And yes, one will be placed if the heat and dry weather doesn't break.
Why? Because there's one other thing that uses lots and lots of water, and we will never know when it will be needed. But when it's needed, it will REALLY be needed.
That's fire protection water.
Do your part. The house you save might be your own.