Good piece in the Chronicle today about water and the current drought / shortage. I have to admit the water situation in the state, as well as global, is pretty bleak. Even if we were to get “normal” rainfall, what does normal really mean when we are surrounded by growth? Growing population, growing industrial needs, aging infrastructure. Normal or average water becomes totally irrelevant if your demands on the resource continue to increase. And it isn’t enough to just do more. Maybe you installed a low flush toilet. Maybe you have a front loading High Efficiency washing machine. Maybe you have a drought resistant landscape. I congratulate you, you made important changes.
I am sorry, but it is not enough. I was struck by a post on the boards by a citizen who had listed all the conservation steps they had taken, and was complaining that they were being punished now because they could not reduce their use further. I understand that frustration, but if you have cut as much as you can from your own household, then your next step is to make your friends, your family and your neighbor cut back their use too. Sustainably can start as an individual effort, but it sure can’t stay that way. I hate to get all hippie dippy but if it is not a communal effort, forget it. San Francisco has one of the lowest per capita water use levels in the state. Great. Now we need to get Daly City, Oakland & Sausalito there as well. And we can do more. I know for a fact that I waste water. I can upgrade my house, my properties, and my lifestyle to live more sustainably. And if a nut job like me can do more, imagine how many gallons I could save if I got, for example, my lazy brother to do something? If increased conservation effort does not mirror increases in demand due to population and industrial growth, we will loose.
All of us.