For those of us living in So Cal, the dog days of Summer are finally here. Because of a severe two-year drought, the state legislature has mandated a whole bunch of new water restrictions. We can't wash our cars, wash-off our sidewalks or driveways (so, if you come to my house and step in bird poop, its not my fault), and any water run-off from poorly-aimed sprinklers or from over-watering will bring down the wrath of the water police--yup, "water police." These are code enforcement folk now looking for water-wasters.
The sad thing is that many of our contemporaries blame the "drought" on human activity. The fact is that California has always been a desert, although the last one hundred years have been some of the wettest on record. Sure, we've had miserably low rainfall totals the past few years, but this is our historic pattern. Nothing out of the ordinary. The current drought was predictable--just take a look at the Farmer's Almanac.
To add insult to our thirsty misery, state officials are reacting to a genuine water emergency, while at the same time failing to realize that the water emergency is largely their own doing. Since the early 1970s--when the last state water project was approved--California's population has exploded. Yet, no new water infrastructure or water sources have been added. Instead, environmentalist groups have lobbied to preserve small and isolated fish populations in the delta region, while diverting life-sustaining water from the world's bread basket, the central valley of California. This has put thousands of our poorest residents out of work, ruined once fertile farm land, and crippled the state agribusiness. And if you want lettuce, Kale, or soybeans, you are going to pay much more for it.
Our state legislature (with the federal transportation people's help) is spending billions on a high-speed rail service from LA to SF which no one wants, and which our state does not need. But add new water sources (i.e., desalinization), or new water infrastructure? Nope, not even on the radar.
Despite what it will do to my sinuses, I'll now use my leaf-blower on my sidewalks. But my neighbors will complain (one in particular) about the dust and the noise. The same environmentalists who oppose new water sources will guilt-trip me that my 2-cycle leaf blower pollutes the air. They want me to use an electric powered blower--which I can't use until after 6:00 p.m., because of rolling brown-outs and a state-wide electricity shortage.
You gotta love state politicians . . . Clueless.