With Gov. Brown ordering across-the-board reductions in water usage, the Partisan has a few suggestions, some entirely serious.
First, no one should even think about making signs proclaiming their dedication to conservation or sending out mailers touting their efforts. It takes water to make signs and water to make envelopes and glossy paper. Let’s all just assume that you and your business are doing your part. Thank you.
Farmers should be barred from putting new fields into production. They say they can’t water what they’ve got anyway.
It takes a gallon of water to produce one almond, yet California growers are planting almonds as fast as they can. That will change once the almond boycott gears up.
Many of the houses in Pebble Beach, Carmel and Pacific Grove are weekenders owned by people in Texas or wherever. Even if it takes a new kind of border patrol, make it clear to them they’re not welcome for the duration.
Members of athletic teams should be limited to one-minute showers after practice or games. Football players who have to be forced to take showers at home are known for trying to use every drop of hot water in the locker rooms.
Cal Am should be fined for every ounce of water that escapes from its pipes, and the fines should be steeply tiered like they are for homeowners. Can’t account for 10,000 gallons, Cal Am? That will be $26 million.
Make everyone’s water bill a public record.
People who use too much water get socked with big bills. How about free water for those who use very little, or prizes for those who cut back the most?
Tell the Monterey Downs developers that if they come up with a plan to use the horses to haul water tanks in from back east, we’ll consider letting them put in the trails and maybe the tennis center but that’s all.
Rose bushes and rhodendrons, gone. Pretty, yes, but they’re water hogs.
Hose down your sidewalk, go to jail.
Some of the water that is flushed into septic tanks eventually seeps into the groundwater but much is lost. To foster recycling and protect streams and beaches, sewers need to be installed in the many parts of California still on septic systems.
If you’re going to take a bath, and you probably should, don’t let the cold water run down the drain while you wait for the hot. Put the plug in. The bath will get hot enough anyway.
If there are still places in California without water meters, shut off their water entirely.
Avoid the need to wash dishes. Do what most guys do when they’re alone and just eat over the sink.
If you’re planning to paint your house, use oil-based paint so you don’t need water to clean up.
Finally, as a reward to those of you foolish enough to have read this far, a water-related joke:
Two guys were hired to paint a church, but the job didn’t pay well and they realized early on that they couldn’t afford enough paint. So they bought what they could and thinned it with water. As they proceeded, they found that they had to keep adding water and by the time they reached the steeple, the paint was no longer completely covering the old coat. Suddenly dark clouds gathered, rain poured down, washing much of the paint away, and a voice boomed from heaven, “Repaint, you thinners! Repaint and thin no more!”