I suppose I should get a rain gauge because whenever I talk to other gardeners they always seem to know how many inches of rain they have gotten lately, but I simple measure how much rain by weather or not I can fill up my rain barrel. It has been much drier this year than last and I am glad I bought one rain barrel and I wish I had stopped by the feed store this morning and picked up another one like I had planned on doing. Hopefully this will not be the last rain for a while, but I would hate to depend on the weather. One of the gardeners I know pumps water out of a creek on his property but the creek has gotten so low he was going to have to give up the garden if we hadn't gotten this rain. In Texas surface water belongs to the state, but as long as you are not interfering with the flow of water you are normally allowed to use water that flows through your property. Of course if we suddenly had a loss of infrastructure and every property owner was pumping water for crops it would be a problem.
By the end of the summer I would like to have at least five rain barrels set up. This way I could water everything outside the garden as well as have enough emergency water in case another hurricane comes this way. After hurricane Rita we were out of power, and since we have our well, out of water for almost a month. Luckily we have relatives in town to stay with who had water even if it was freezing cold. A solar system for the well would cost around two grand, but would probably be well worth the investment. We can hook the generator to the well compressor and pump, but after the hurricane gas was impossible to get for a week or so. The dirt roads will be tore up tomorrow, but I am always glad to see the rain.