Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Last year city officials asked every residence to cut back on personal water consumption by 10 percent to help conserve our most precious natural resource, water. As you can see by one of our recent water bills, our household went above and beyond. (This month’s bill was even better -- 51% lower!)
Unfortunately, the majority of San Diegans did not share our enthusiasm and continued to wash half-full loads of laundry and dishes, water lawns during rainy weeks, wash down walkways and take long showers. Overall consumption dropped a mere 5%. Now we’re all about to suffer.
The agency that regulates our water supply is cutting back because of prolonged drought, which means we’re forced to cut down – and pay more for the water we will use. Other water authorities are doing the same elsewhere in the state. Beginning in June, each San Diegan household is going to be given an allotment and will pay stiff fines if it goes over the gallon limit. Habitual offenders, I’m told, will have some kind of device placed on their valves to force conservation.
It’s even worse in agricultural zones, where farmers are being forced to let fields go fallow because they can no longer irrigate them. Given California’s Central Valley provides the bulk of domestic produce and nuts for the rest of the U.S., you can expect the price of those goods to go up as well.
The other day there was a sign at the gym warning everyone to limit showers to five minutes or less because of the water restrictions. It got me thinking. Will the city turn off water fountains we use on our runs? Will the cost of races rise even more to compensate for more expensive water? We have volunteers who refill 16- and 20-gallon jugs for our track club’s training program aid stations – will they still be as generous if it costs them part of their daily allotment?