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Texas Gardening: Here are the promised resaca pics

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Forum: Texas GardeningReplies: 27, Views: 279
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Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

December 13, 2004
6:33 PM

Post #1193130

We have something here that is exclusive to Cameron county in south Texas called resacas. They were made in 1918-1928 to bring fresh water for irrigation to the farmers. Ours is privately owned by Bayview Irrigation district and is not used for drinking water. The ones in Brownsville and San Benito are owned by the city and are used for drinking water(before using it they send it thru a water treatment plant). Los Fresnos has resacas too but I don't think they use them for drinking water.
When hurricanes and storms would hit in this area, the Rio Grande would flood and sometimes change course for a while, then when the waters went back down, it left dry riverbeds. The farmers decided to clean these out, connect them and fill them with fresh water. They used mule teams and steam shovels and hand labor to dig them. That's how the resacas came about. Resaca means "reborn" in Spanish.
Here is the one that borders my property. This is taken from the roadway and if you look in the front center, you can see the lock for a gate that shuts off the water. There are locks all along the resaca so flow can be controlled.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

December 13, 2004
6:34 PM

Post #1193131

Here is one in Brownsville.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

December 13, 2004
6:36 PM

Post #1193136

Here is the one close to where I work. They have a lot of water hyacinths in the San Benito resaca system. They spray them and scoop them out and they just come back. They have started using them in the sewage treatment ponds because they are great for cleaning the water so they scoop them out of the resacas with a backhoe, put in a dump truck and take them to the ponds.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

December 13, 2004
6:40 PM

Post #1193139

A channel in Port Isabel which is not the same thing. The channels are salt water, the resacas are fresh water. When they get contaminated with too much salt, they drain and refill them. It is a slow process and takes about a month to drain, then refill the resaca. The gates make it possible to only refresh the water in one section at a time. They also come in handy when the nutrias have damaged a wall causing it to cave in. That section can be closed off and the wall repaired without losing all the water in the system.
This is a salt water channel.
salvia_lover
Modi'in
Israel

December 13, 2004
9:27 PM

Post #1193370

Cool thread Calalily! And that first photo is gorgeous! Thanks so much for being part of my learning something new everytime I log on here :-)

-Julie
moonlighting
Needville, TX
(Zone 9a)

December 14, 2004
3:09 AM

Post #1193757

I have never seen those in person although I knew they existed...thanks for posting the beautiful pictures!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

December 14, 2004
2:11 PM

Post #1194100

I forgot to say how wide these are. They can be 50 to 400 ft wide. I also had the dates wrong. San Benito had the first ones and they were completed in 1906. Bayview finished theirs later. The Arroyo Colorado is another big water feature here. It is used for barge traffic and recreation. I've got a picture of it, just have to find it.
Brugie
Chariton, IA
(Zone 5b)

December 14, 2004
3:19 PM

Post #1194218

Great pictures. For some reason I thought they were going to be like cement canals. Nice view and what a great water source for all those plants. LOL!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

December 14, 2004
3:34 PM

Post #1194236

Oh yeah, like the channels in Port Isabel? I had an idea people couldn't picture what they were. There is a beautiful resaca that I'm going to pass today and I'll try to get a picture if the traffic isn't too bad.
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 15, 2004
2:45 AM

Post #1195071

Beautiful pictures Cala and very informative. Thanks for sharing!
Terrie
Posie4U
Mansfield, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 16, 2004
3:09 PM

Post #1196922

Calalily, your pictures are superb. I had no idea that these resacas existed, and I have lived in Texas many years. What a great thing to learn about.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

December 16, 2004
7:34 PM

Post #1197241

If you go to Google and put in "resaca + Texas" you will get all kinds of info and pictures.
larrycook
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 17, 2004
12:01 PM

Post #1198036

Do you pump water to irrigate your lawn and plants?
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

December 17, 2004
12:44 PM

Post #1198118

Yes, we pay a fee to the irrigation district and can use as much water as we need.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 14, 2005
10:31 PM

Post #1238161

..wow, so beautiful
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 30, 2005
4:22 PM

Post #1265419

Just found this thread. I learned something today. Do you pay a flat fee to the irrigation district or are you metered?
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

January 30, 2005
8:51 PM

Post #1265832

We pay a flat fee, the farms are metered. The farms call the irrigation district office and order their water(they are allowed so much water per year, in foot acres), they turn the pump on and it runs thru a meter. If they use more than their alloted water they can buy rights from another farm.
Our pumps are much smaller than the farm pumps.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 31, 2005
12:33 AM

Post #1266303

Thats a sweet deal for homeowners!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

February 4, 2005
4:58 PM

Post #1272864

This is one of my favorite resaca views.
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

February 4, 2005
6:49 PM

Post #1273015

WOW !
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 5, 2005
5:45 AM

Post #1273630

Double wow, hard to believe that is Texas!

What a wonderful view in a beautiful place in a great state :-)

Edited to add in a awesome nation too, sometimes it just seems like we are our cown country here in the Lone Star State...

This message was edited Feb 5, 2005 1:46 AM
maggiemoo
Conroe, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2005
5:36 AM

Post #1286530

Calalily, do these ever dry up? Have there ever been droughts severe enough for that?

Beautiful!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

February 13, 2005
3:41 PM

Post #1286895

The main resacas never dry up unless something happens to let all the water out. I know one resaca had an invasion of the nutrias(big rat looking things that are as big as a small dog) that tunneled into the side and caved it in and the water ran out(the water master lost a truck that day but he wasn't hurt). The irrigation companies have a contract with two resevoirs north of us that supply a steady amount of water. I don't think they've all gone dry at one time.
Our resaca(the one by my house) is very low right now, someone who doesn't pay for water opened the main drain gate and took the water. It's filling back up slowly. Whoever did it opened the gate at night. Someone did it a few months ago and they put a chain and lock on the gate. This time they found an old gate and opened it, they broke it. North of us there are old resaca beds that aren't used any longer, the water runs into them when the gates are opened and I guess it's hard to figure out who did it, haven't heard that anyone has been caught.
maggiemoo
Conroe, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2005
4:55 PM

Post #1286976

In the "olden" days, stealing water was a hangin' offense!
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 13, 2005
5:51 PM

Post #1287032

They should realize that we arn't all that far removed from the olden days! LOL
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

February 14, 2005
12:10 PM

Post #1288051

I wonder what the penalties for stealing water are? I'll have to ask the irrigation district.
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

February 15, 2005
2:57 AM

Post #1289224

Yeppers 'Hang 'em High!

carefull 'ya ain't gonna start no dang-blasted Range War thar , Susie

Dont wanna find ya hawg-tied to no RR tracks ,

a'waitin' fer yer hero on a white cayuse to swoop down and rescue ya and ride offento the sunset ,

'cause we mighty well never see yer hide agin'.

hehehehe
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

February 15, 2005
4:10 PM

Post #1289935

Ah don't worry about me scoot, I'll send a posse from the neighborhood(the neighborhood watch guys need something to do, they're gettin restless!). I think I heard them mention something about dynamite, lol.
I've got water again, they patched the hole but haven't caught the guilty water-nappers yet.
I heard the whistling ducks this morning, they were happy they had more than a mud puddle to play in.

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