However, the rain has FINALLY come to California, which (hopefully) will avoid the water rationing idiocy that they've been muttering at us.
I don't have a problem with encouraging conservation and dealing with water shortages. My issue is with the bizarre idea that people who were already conserving get dinged, while water hogs aren't. I look at these freaking manicured and professionally cultivated landscapes on Grand Avenue (complete with actual lawns of GRASS), watered every night, pools, power washed houses... and that's just what we see on the outside.
Instead of everyone being handed the same REAL goals (basing usage on an average per household), everyone gets handed the same criteria. In this case the water company wants everyone to reduce their water usage a fixed percentage over last year's usage. For these massive water users they can meet that goal by not watering the lawn twice a week, or skipping the regular power washing.
For these of us stupid enough to actually give a shit in advance of a water emergency...
I had this same problem with electricity -- PG & E constantly tries to offer incentives to cut power. As someone who switched to compact florescent bulbs in 1998, keeps his thermostat at 66 during the day and 61 at night, and dropped the water heater temperature as much as I dare, it's enough to lose your mind when (again) the usage cut is based on YOUR usage, and not a real baseline based on everyone's usage.
Take my hot tub: Thanks to careful testing and chemical usage, I've managed to keep the water clean and healthy for 18 months. Seriously. Since normally you're expected to replace the water once every *3* months, and that's about 350 gallons a pop, call it a 2000 gallon savings (I took about 100 gallons off for the occasional topping off when the water level gets too low).
If I had simply re-filled the hot tub every three months (whether I needed to or not), that's 1400 gallons I could have "conserved" in 2009. Where else to cut? The back yard is 95% paved (a few fruit trees and a couple of bushes, no lawn), and the front yard is already a drought resistant setup (during the summer it needs to be watered once a week, during this time of year not at all). The washer is only a year and a half old (and only used with full loads), we only had the dish washer working for the last few months (and it's been used maybe a dozen times), and only take showers.
Again, where the hell am I supposed to cut?
Yes, it's a rhetorical question. I'm not going to find enough to cut to satisfy East Bay MUDD (the water people). I'm not feeling particularly inclined to care.
So pray for the rain to stay for awhile people... even if it does mean there's a small lake in front of the new wing at work (oops! pesky drainage issues).