Water, Water, Everywhere

There’s an epidemic spreading through the Bay Area these days. Not Ebola. It’s not whooping cough, measles, or even creeping Republicanism. No, it’s far, far, worse. We have an epidemic of leaky pipes.


Maybe you’ve heard that California is in the fourth year of a drought. If you’ve been paying any attention–and I know many of you haven’t (though hopefully only those of you outside of the state)–you also know that some utilities have begun releasing lists of the top water users. These are the people who go through thousands of gallons a day (the average citizen uses around 250 gallons a day, according to a recent article in the Chron.

No surprise: most of the names on the list are residents of gated communities in affluent suburbs. And the most common excuse they’ve been giving for their massive water use is “leaky pipes”.

Newsflash: The top names on the list are the president of a company that writes software for the construction industry, a construction industry lawyer, and a “well-known developer”. Wouldn’t you think they’d be able to find plumbers who could install non-leaky pipes and property maintenance personnel who could spot leaks? Frankly, I’m surprised there haven’t been any lawsuits filed by the plumbers in question over the disparagement of their work.

The comments that don’t blame those naughty pipes are even more offensive. That developer’s property manager claims that the current usage, 7,842 gallons a day, is down 75% from where it was two years ago. Think about that: Two years ago, in the second year of the drought, he was using more than 30,000 gallons a day. Enough to supply 120 average consumers. Look, I get that he’s, let’s say, “well off”, and can afford to do what he wants. But that doesn’t excuse the tone deaf comment quoted in the Chron: “We’re doing everything we can do short of letting everything die. I’m sorry we have to use that much water, but you don’t want a fire hazard, do you?”

He’s not the only one who thinks that way. The owner of a residential mortgage company has only “enough lawn for my dogs to play on” in her 10 acre property and said that “You can’t compare a 10-acre property to a half-acre property for water usage.” I can’t? Why not? I didn’t plant my yard with plants that require irrigation to survive. Sure, it gets brown every summer, drought or not, but it’s not an unattractive shade of brown–and I’d be willing to bet that I use a hell of a lot less water per acre than she does.

Which brings us to a comment from a landscaper. “It could be hundreds of thousands of dollars lost if you let the landscaping die up here. They’re not just going up there willy nilly installing lush lawns.” Excuse me? Are you really invoking the “too big to fail” defense?

Apparently so. Hey, you’re a landscaper. You should know that your clients are living in an area that isn’t water-rich even in the best of times. Did you do due diligence and advise them that their plans weren’t sustainable? Did you suggest alternatives to those “lush lawns”?

Come on, people, let the damn lawns turn brown!

Water, water, everywhere
Nor any drop to drink


3 thoughts on “Water, Water, Everywhere

  1. Blatant, shameful class warfare! The very rich have problems we can’t imagine, including (but not limited to) creating employment opportunities for all of us, including members of our State, County and Federal Legislatures. At the very least, they should be able to be driven home, where they can take their well-earned rest while gazing at their spacious, green acres of lawn. And, what about their dogs? Do you hate dogs? Do you want their dogs to pine away on a postage stamp sized lawn- even a brown, dead lawn? Where, for God’s sake, is your compassion? I think you owe the long-suffering rich people (and their ilk) a prompt and heart-felt apology! (By the way, in case you may think I have a conflict of interest, here, I am not rich- far from it, in fact, but, like all of us, I hope and trust that I will be rich, some day soon, and when I am, I will have a green lawn that can be seen from space, unless kvetchers like you make it impossible.)
    Please think, before writing another inflammatory article like this. Maybe a nice article about happy dogs, that have large spaces in which to play. That would be nice.
    Thank you.


    • [snicker]

      The politicians have jobs: being politicians. They don’t need more, though granted the rest of us do.

      The dogs aren’t going to care what color the grass is as long as there are interesting smells and things to chase. Get rid of the lawn, put in native grasses, and let the dogs chase rabbits and gophers the way evolution intended. Oh, and turkeys. They’ll love that!

      Gotta have a green lawn? Fine. Paint is cheap–probably cheaper than water by the time you’re that rich. And you can do some of that employment opportunity creation by hiring somebody to individually paint each stalk.

      Oh, and that last paragraph? Sounds suspiciously like some of the things the spammers keep writing. You’re not selling dog collars, are you?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: State of the Fourth Estate 04 | Koi Scribblings

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