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Are you ready for water rationing this summer?

This grevillea, an Australian native, requires NO supplemental water. In fact, giving it water hurts it.I’ll admit I’ve been critical of water-saving schemes that conspire to take away my daily baths while the powers-that-be concurrently approve plans for more, more and more new developments in the Southland.

But the situation facing us this summer is way beyond my little rants. We are in a terrific drought, and a state official says the water shortage is the worst he’s seen in 30 years.

Being blamed are outdated water delivery systems and water-diverting efforts to save endangered species. Those endangered species! They’re such whiners! (That’s a joke.)

So it looks likely that water rationing will be the new green this summer.

And I wonder: How will you deal with it? Which of these will you embrace?

• Adding flow restrictors to faucets and showers
• Getting rid of some lawn in favor of drought-resistant plants
• Adding a drip watering system to the garden
• Putting in a gray-water system
• Capturing rainwater (another joke, as there is virtually no summer rain here)

What else?

10 Comments on Are you ready for water rationing this summer?

  1. I’m AMAZED. Simply amazed at the amount of water that is wasted (yes, wasted) on watering non-native plants in the LA basin.
    I grew up in Tucson which is a model of water conservation and usage with one of the lowest per capita water usage rates in the country.
    What has always amazed me is that both LA and Tucson get the same amount of rainwater per year on average, yet LA is noticably greener, but it is decieving. Sure, many more variety of plants can grow around LA, but things are watered so much more. It’s simply stunning to see so much water being wasted on plants that require hundreds of gallons of water per day.
    The native plants in the LA area are quite beautiful and are everywhere there isn’t currently development. It’s not hard to find and easier to setup and maintain.
    When will LA stop wasting so much water?

  2. Susette Horspool // June 2, 2008 at 12:44 pm // Reply

    There’s another danger related to the drought that homeowners and builders can do something about. The earth is no longer able to absorb rainwater into her watersheds. Why? Because over time cities have replaced farmlands and we have built them up to cover the areas with the best, most absorbent soils. Impervious cities. All over the world. In all the absorbent spots. So rainwater not immediately used is being rolled off the surface into the storm drains and out to the oceans instead of filling up our watersheds. What if homeowners and builders were to replace sidewalks and driveways with permeable pavements?

  3. “Water is too cheap, until they get the prices right to encourage wise use of water by hitting people in the wallets, they will be pi$$ing in the wind to get people to conserve.
    Which gives rise to the sentiment previously expressed of if I conserve they will just route the “saved” water to the profligate user.”
    Sunsetbeachguy –
    I think you have it slightly wrong. What motivates my sentiment is that in previous rationing years, water allocations have been based on historic consumption.
    So why should I take extraordinary measures to conserve now when that makes my water allocation during drought unlivable? Furthermore, there is an established history of early adopters of conservation measures being screwed for their investment when later widespread adoption is encouraged by rebate programs.
    I do the sensible things right now to save water, because I’m a responsible adult, but if were the type who lived with buckets in my shower, what could I do to further reduce consumption when I’m allocated down in a rationing year?
    The bottom line is that I’m not in a mode of “If I don’t use it someone else will”. I’m in a mode of “Don’t make my life unlivable when I have to cut back further.”

  4. sunsetbeachguy // May 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm // Reply

    It is the price stupid.
    Water is too cheap, until they get the prices right to encourage wise use of water by hitting people in the wallets, they will be pi$$ing in the wind to get people to conserve.
    Which gives rise to the sentiment previously expressed of if I conserve they will just route the “saved” water to the profligate user.

  5. I am researching replacing the lawn with a yarrow, chamomile, time or other walkable non-grass but haven’t found the best option.
    This would be an excellent blog entry. ahem…

  6. tarbubble // May 5, 2008 at 6:17 pm // Reply

    this is our first year in a house (not an apartment or condo), so we’re getting rainwater barrels. i’m putting in a vegetable garden, which will be watered with a poor woman’s drip irrigation system – gallon milk jugs full of water (the water drips out tiny holes in the bottom). we could work harder at salvaging bath & shower water. i admit i’ve been lazy about it. we don’t own the house so a greywater system is not an option.

  7. We ripped out our lawn in 2006/2007. Check out my house blog for pics. The only things that get any amount of water are the plants that provide food (fruit trees, veggies).
    We’re definitely going to be looking into rainwater collection for next fall; not sure on the rules/regs regarding gray water.

  8. PERRYinLA // May 2, 2008 at 5:39 pm // Reply

    Capturing rainwater is not a joke- I do it every winter. About 80-120 gallons of rainwater are stored in my basement, in gallon Sparkletts jugs, and I use them throughout the summer to water my plants (no dissolved salts like in tap water) and as an emergency stash in case of some disaster.
    Another non-joke is GREY WATER – all of my washing machine drainage is routed to my outdoor plants and my (mostly brown) front lawn and backyard.
    And finally, I only need to push the flush lever of my toilet about once a week. No, I am not a slob- I keep a 2.5-gallon bucket in my shower and it fills up each time I bathe. That water is used to flush my toilet.
    All my efforts to save water are wiped out each time my neighbor’s sprinklers fire up, which is way too often.
    Until we come to the realization that lawns in front of each home are an untenable luxury in southern California, no amount of conservation on my part (and others) will make a dent in the problem.

  9. Stop watering the greenery along the freeways in the middle of the day. DUH!
    Is it really necessary to have sprinkler systems along the shoulder of the 210?

  10. How about political activism? Policy is what decides everything in this country, state, and city, and the Big Lobbies exert WAAAAAYYYY too much influence over that policy, while the good of the people is largely ignored, in part because people are too lazy to participate in the democratic process.
    AB 2153 (Krekorian) is pending in the state legislature right now, and requires all NEW development be “net zero” on water use. The problem is that the solution they suggest is ‘mitigation,” which basically means starving somewhere else of water to supply water, rather than water “recycling” and “conservation,” which should be required on all new buildings.
    Edison is pushing through a new “gas peaker” plant in Desert Hot Springs called the CPV Sentinel, which will use 360 MILLION gallons of desert groundwater EVERY YEAR to supply the exact “peaker power” that solar panels on rooftops could provide with no water and no fossil fuels and no emissions. I would like to suggest that anyone who would prefer that 360 million gallons of groundwater be available to us and to various plants and animals might wish to object to the permitting of this plant by the California Energy Commission, and insist that their taxpayer dollars and our natural resources be used to install more rooftop solar (with buybacks) instead…

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