We've had rain the last couple of days - most of it has been light and sporadic, but it's rain. There's a little over an inch in the rain gauge and perhaps more to come. The good news is that it seemed to rain heavier a little to the south of us - which could be good news for the Georgia lakes, which are so low.
If you haven't heard, Atlanta (a rather large city) has only 90 days of water left. There has finally been lots of discussion about water management processes. My only hope is that water management and city planners and citizens will take a good long look at long standing practices and change. My fear is that those planners and citizens will get over this crisis and go back to living like they always have. On a recent trip down to Georgia, I heard one person complain that they hadn't been able to go boating this summer. That was their biggest concern. How about drinking? Hmm.
Our rain barrel will fill with about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch of rain - that's 65 gallons of water off of one small side of our roof. We've used ours to water the vegetable garden in the past, but this year I concentrated on using it to keep a bunch of young hydrangeas alive. And it worked. I placed a soaker hose on the spigot and let gravity force the water to slowly and conservatively water them. All are doing well. I don't think they would have survived without it. I put a pretty tight restriction on watering ornamentals over the summer, prefering to limit watering to the things we eat.
If you don't have a rain barrel or two, I encourage you to build or buy your own. Make it a project for the winter. You'll be able to use it in the spring to water all those seedlings.