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Saving water outdoors

ManaanitaplusshovelMy mother-in-law is visiting from Santa Barbara and wonders if she can rinse off her truck at my house. It’s no longer allowed in her town.

As the population explodes here on the planet, supplies of fresh water don’t seem to be keeping up. Something has to give.

A helpful article in Sunday’s newspaper, headlined "More changes that help conserve water at home," guides SoCal homeowners through the increasing mandates to cut back.

For instance:

"Long Beach has forbidden using hoses to wash off patios, driveways, sidewalks and parking areas unless the hose has a certified water conserving nozzle; a regular on-off nozzle doesn’t qualify. Residents are allowed to water on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and "inefficient" sprinkler systems — those that over-spray, soak sidewalks or apply too much water — also are forbidden."

I like the idea of landscaping consistent with the natural environment. Here’s a quote from Kim O’Cain, spokeswoman for the Santa Monica Environmental Programs Division:

"The California-friendly landscape uses 90% less water, creates half the yard waste and takes about half the work of lawn, once the plants are established."

When saving water means saving money and less work for me, you’ve got my attention.

But here’s what intrigues me:

The article states that while 10% of water in Southern California is used by residents watering their lawns and gardens, 80% of the water in Southern California is used for agriculture.

So if I’m changing my life to adjust to more people and less water, and my 85-year-old mother-in-law can’t rinse off her car, what life-altering measures are these companies taking to save water?

Are agribusinesses sacrificing as much as we are?

Wouldn’t that be a fascinating thing to learn?

(Photo: Manzanita, California native, by KPR)

3 Comments on Saving water outdoors

  1. Kathy Price-Robinson // March 24, 2008 at 8:22 pm // Reply

    Oop, you’re right about Georgia, Carl. My bad. I should have mentioned some other place that’s getting a bunch of rain. I deleted that reference. Thank you!

  2. KPR, Georgia, as well as most of the SE (incl. Florida) is suffering a severe drought and water restrictions have been implemented (for almost a year now)

  3. many of our farmers signed a deal a few years ago with the MWD that in exchange for a reduced price during a big water hike, they would be the first to be rationed. it’s happening now, and thousands of trees are being killed to save water.,0,1257990,full.story
    So, does that make you feel better or feel worse?? it’s not like we are being asked to kill our trees and give up our income streams, just put in drip systems and be a little sensitive to the reality of living in a dry region. these people are growing our food, not washing hardscapes, so cutting off their water means cutting off our food supply…

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