“Cool, clear water…”
Word has it that Planet Earth is 73% water and only 2% of that amount is fit to drink – sorta.
The degree of pollution in that remaining small percentage is so high that nearly all of it must be treated for human – and animal – consumption. Of course, we in our highly industrialized country seldom bother to think much about water until we are told we cannot have as much as we’re used to. Water providers and scientists in many disciplines, especially climate science, have been warning us for years that one day soon we would encounter restrictions on the use of water. That day has come.
The news media can’t stop talking about the heat wave in the West and showing pictures of nearly empty reservoirs and fallow fields in the Central Valley.
Hard to miss all the attention.
Locally, it seems not to be upsetting too many people, as the first full day of “re-opening” the state roars on. West Hollywood has been pushing water conservation for at least 10 years.
Check the city website (weho.org) and you’ll find a few informative videos on water conservation and land use as well as links to our water providers: Beverly Hills Water department, LA Dept. of Water and Power, plus others for their take on the drought we are experiencing and how to live with it. But these voices are getting faint as so many of us seem to ignore this real disaster.
Think about it: WeHo is a resort city in the sense that we rely so heavily on income from our bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and other businesses which cater to visitors – all generous users of water. You know that the first thing which comes to mind in the CEOs office at the water utility – raise prices as we squeeze the pipe tighter.
We’ve been here before, but this time it’s really going to hurt and we must learn some new ways to survive the drought. Some readers may recall Abbe Land’s remarks about not running water as we brush our teeth. Surely, that’s a start and, while we are in that part of our living quarters, think about fewer, shorter showers and that old axiom – “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down.”
We are facing the era of mandated low flow toilets, timer valves, auto shutoff faucets. For those who maintain gardens, hand watering will be a thing of the past and all watering will be some form of drip watering with timing devices monitoring the action. Leaf litter will come back into its own as a soil builder and our gardeners will have to learn some new tricks or find another trade. You’ll not get water with your meal at a restaurant unless you ask for it. This may be good for the restaurants as wine might be a good alternative.
We are being forced to accept the reality of change. There is no turning back. Intelligent people prepare for disaster when the tools are available. For instance, considering the possibility of one day having no water at the tap because the provider is rationing its supplies and declaring a “water holiday” (happens elsewhere) would make me have a 5 gallon jug as a backup. My message is more than a warning of things to come: Things are here now. And we have some time to prepare to get through, learn some survival tactics, spend some time in meditation!
One of the better qualities of humans is their resilience, their toughness and their consolidated desire to “get through it”. WeHo can show the way – if we wish.