A glos­sary of liq­uid as­sets

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - OUTANDABOUT - NATE DOWNEY

They say Eski­mos have 50 to 100words for snow. Here in the South­west, we could list ten times that many for wa­ter. Here’s a mini mon­soon of them:

Ace­quia wa­ter – sur­face wa­ter di­verted to a field via a canal or canals. It’s the type of wa­ter that sus­tained Santa Fe for cen­turies, from Oñate into the 1950s.

Aquifer – an of­ten-shrink­ing ground­wa­ter reser­voir (typ­i­cally full of muddy gravel).

Black­wa­ter – ef­flu­ent or sewage that re­quires treat­ment be­fore it can be re­cy­cled. Many sys­tems ex­ist at the home­owner level.

Brack­ish wa­ter – sa­line wa­ter with the po­ten­tial of be­ing trans­formed into potable wa­ter, but the fi­nan­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal costs are typ­i­cally too se­vere to con­sider de­sali­na­tion. Wa­ter at an in­dus­trial scale.

Grey­wa­ter – liq­uid waste from bath­room sinks, showers, and clothes wash­ers. It can be legally used in the residential land­scapes of the Land of En­chant­men­twith­out a per­mit as long as the New Mexico En­vi­ron­ment Depart­ment’s reg­u­la­tions are fol­lowed.

Ground­wa­ter – wa­ter found be­low the sur­face of the earth.

Ice – the solid form of wa­ter that’s melt­ing too quickly— from the high­est Hi­malayan glaciers to the South Pole.

Ir­ri­ga­tion-qual­ity wa­ter – wa­ter that is suit­able for agri­cul­ture but should only be drunk in a pinch.

Non-potable wa­ter – wa­ter that is un­safe to drink.

P’óe – wa­ter in Tewa, the lan­guage of six lo­cal, pre-Coron­ado com­mu­ni­ties.

Pre­cip­i­ta­tion – rain, snow, sleet, hail, dew, fog, and ev­ery other form of con­den­sa­tion, typ­i­cally in­volv­ing a quick, at­mo­spheric-tem­per­a­ture change and some mi­cro­scopic dust par­ti­cles. Potable wa­ter – drink­ing wa­ter. Rip­ple – 1) a wave in­di­cat­ing the move­ment of wa­ter; 2) a lovely and pow­er­ful Grate­ful Dead tune.

Rain­wa­ter – rain and other forms of pre­cip­i­ta­tion es­pe­cially with the po­ten­tial to be har­vested.

Roofwa­ter – pre­cip­i­ta­tion that has landed on the top of a hu­man-built shel­ter. Roofwa­ter can be stored in the soil near plant roots or in cis­terns. Runoff – see stormwa­ter. Snowmelt – snow that has turned into wa­ter or runoff.

Stormwa­ter – pre­cip­i­ta­tion that hits the ground but is not ab­sorbed by the land and cre­ates an ephemeral flow over the sur­face of the earth. Stormwa­ter can be stored in rain gar­dens, on-con­tour swales, biore­me­di­a­tion basins, and more.

Sur­face wa­ter – wa­ter that ex­ists in rivers, lakes, reser­voirs, etc.

Treated ef­flu­ent – waste­water that has been cleaned to a de­sired stan­dard.

Vir­tual wa­ter – the wa­ter that goes into the food you eat, the cloth­ing you wear, the energy and ma­te­ri­als you use. Wasted wa­ter – a cry­ing shame. Waste­water – black­wa­ter and/or grey­wa­ter that has not been treated.

Wa­ter – the uni­ver­sal sol­vent and in­fin­itely clean­able liq­uid form of the force of life.

Wa­ter foot­print – the amount of wa­ter and vir­tu­al­wa­ter an en­tity uses.

Wa­ter har­vest­ing – the col­lec­tion, con­veyance, fil­tra­tion, stor­age, and dis­tri­bu­tion of rain­wa­ter, or what you should do if you own prop­erty in an arid land. Wa­ter va­por – the gaseous form of wa­ter. You – pro­noun, a be­ing with a brain that’s al­most en­tirely wa­ter.

Nate Downey, the au­thor of Harvest the Rain, has been a lo­cal land­scape con­sul­tant, de­signer, and con­trac­tor since 1992. He can be reached at 505-690-7939 or via www. per­made­sign.com.

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