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The following appears here by permission of the author.

Three Brothers and One Cow

Gary A. Haldeman
BWD Ratepayer Representative to the Borrego Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Advisory Committee

Once upon a time there were three brothers that lived in a beautiful, quiet valley.

They owned a fine dairy cow. In fact, she was exceptional. She produced 10 gallons of milk a day.

It was their responsibility to care for her and milk her three times a day.

The younger brother, who milked before dawn, kept a gallon for himself and put the rest in the milk fridge. He was content with his gallon. It was enough for him and he thought this arrangement was fair.

The middle brother, who was more playful, milked at noon. He kept two gallons for himself and also put the rest in the milk fridge. He made cheese and cream with his extra gallon, and sometimes sold these products.

The older brother, who milked in the evening, figured that since his two younger siblings didn't say anything, he'd do what he wanted to with his milk and the milk in the fridge.

There was some bickering at times, but all in all, everyone seemed happy with the arrangement.

One day the brothers noticed that the cow was not producing as much as she used to. The younger brother took this most to heart and began holding back less of the milk than he had so as to help out.

The middle brother began to realize that it would be a good idea to use less, so he began thinking of ways he could do so and still make a little money.

The older brother was in a pickle and did not want to change.

The family called a vet to see what was going on with their cow. This fine doctor told them that as she got older and with the stress of producing so much milk over the years, she might dry up if they didn't do something right away.

After studying the matter, it became clear that they would only be able to milk the cow only once a day and, if they took care of her, she'd comfortably produce about three gallons a day.

The younger brother was happy to know she would be ok.

The middle brother was a little bothered, but he understood the need to take care of her. He realized he'd have to figure out a way to do with a little less. Maybe he'd not be able to sell any of his cream and cheese.

The older brother was very angry in the beginning, but once he realized that there would be no extra milk other than his gallon, he understood that the important part was to be able to continue living with his brothers in this beautiful valley.

The older brother quit selling the extra milk, settled into a nice life in the valley with his two brothers, and felt happy that the cow was healthy and happy as well.

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