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Letter to the Editor: Turning water into ‘whine’

We have water, can you drink it? Here in Ferndale yes, other places we have lived, no, and hell no!! 

We lived for about eighteen years in Santa Rosa, CA. The last ten years there, mandatory water rationing was in place from May 1st till Oct. 15th. Each household was allotted twenty five gallons per day per person to a maximum of 200 gal per day. If you used more the rate was insane! If the base rate was “x”, the rate for overage was “x times 10”. That was tier one it kept climbing till it reached shut off at “x times 40.” After five straight days of 90º or hotter, it dropped to 10 gallons per person per day. 

My brother-in-law lives in B’ham, should have heard him whine when the city informed his neighborhood that they were installing meters to track what people were using. 

My point in all this is yes, we need to be conservative with our water use but let’s get real here. Last week while on conservation watering schedule , my neighbor was in his back yard for a timed one hour and forty seven minuets pressure washing his patio. Not my idea of conservation and he is  not unique, since last Friday I have counted no less than eight folks doing the same. 

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Also, do we really need to waste water on turf grass? I don’t know of any of my friends that can eat that. Those that know us have never complained about the landscaping at our house, both my neighbor and I use all native (no water) plants, bark and rocks. Looks great. When I see people watering their lawn with water running down the gutter into the storm drain, I want to just scream! As I told a good friend of mine on a different subject, “Tom you need to take a 5-year road trip, live in other states for awhile then come back here and tell me again how bad it is.”

Yes, please think before you use that water. The city, at one time, was helping property owners with the installation of low-flow devices, let’s encourage them to continue that practice. Did you know that if you do a “full load” almost all modern dishwashers use far less water than hand washing? 

Please give some serious thought to replacing at least some portion of your lawn with native low water landscaping, you pocket book will thank you and you will have more time for other pastimes. 

I do not pretend to be the know all expert on saving water, but after living where it was truly a scarce commodity, I can’t help but try to convey how easy it is to make a few small personal lifestyle changes that would make our water issues seem far away. Lastly, remember that every gallon less that you put down the drain is one less that goes through the waste water plant. I would love to hear from Mike at the treatment facility what average household reduction it would take to postpone expansion of that facility. 

Paul Ingram
Ferndale


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1 COMMENT

  1. Interesting points and fully agree, but the biggest culprit by far is the City’s relentless interest in adding draw demand every chance they get; unfortunately our conservation just ends up budgeting for nonstop development, which we literally end up paying for. Current residents are subsidizing other interests, which in turn add other negative enviro impacts such as lost open space and added tailpipes clogging City streets.

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