Not to worry

My good friend Doug Loneman called the other day with an invitation to head up to Hyalite Reservoir.

I was surprised to find the water level of the reservoir much lower than what I’d seen a few months earlier. A quick call this morning to the Bozeman Water Department assures me this is nothing to worry over. They bring water levels way down in the fall to save the dam from ice damage in the winter.

Still, it was an eerie place. The exposed ground, I was told, has only been under water since 1993, when the dam was enlarged. But the creeks still converged and then headed down toward Hyalite Canyon and it was easy to imagine the forest they once ran through, now sandy mud and stumps.

I’m sad for the forest now gone and at the same time glad for the water this dam provides me and the other people of the rapidly-growing population of Bozeman.

Then I think of the people in California, some of whom have been without running water for five months or more. And I remember that clean water has been in short supply in Africa and other parts of the world for a very long time.

The climate is changing. And water is more precious than oil. I hope we remember that in time.

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