Irresponsible watering reigns

On The Contrary

June 16, 2010|Richard Tafilaw

Last Sunday I decided to dash over to the new Fresh & Easy store to pick up a few things.

It was after 7 p.m., nice and quiet with the lazy evening shadows just beginning to form. Along the way I enjoyed seeing the Claude Monet-like misting effect from several front lawns with their sprinklers on — a veritable picture-perfect painting of small-town America in all its glory. But, hold on a minute, the name of this column is not "Pamela's Altogether Perky Pumpkin Patch," now is it?

All half-dozen or so of those homeowners were breaking the law! They were each blatantly ignoring Burbank's landscape irrigation regulations, which allows watering on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only. Oddly enough, the very next morning on my drive to work, I saw still another handful of sprinklers spraying away at various residences and businesses, each again in complete violation of current water-usage rules.


I wonder, does anybody in town ever actually read those little notices stuck in their water and power bills? It sure doesn't look like it! Of course, when you really stop and think about it, a significant number of the caretakers of our lawns, irrigation systems and landscaping do not even live in Burbank, let alone receive the fliers circulated by our water department. So it's hardly any surprise that they're being ignored.

The thought even passed through my wicked little mind that it might be a cute idea to buzz by our City Council members' houses every now and then on a Sunday, Monday, Wednesday or Friday and catch how many of them might be in violation of the watering policy. But that would be too easy, and, heck, the place where I live doesn't follow the rules either!

Bulletin: There's still a major drought going on out there, people! Does anybody care?

It's so easy to forget that the whole of Southern California is living on stolen water. Hey, go look at a map: How much does Southern California actually contribute to the Colorado River, the Owens Valley or San Joaquin Valley water projects? Not a drop.

Our lovely but foolish green lawns, pine trees, swimming pools and lush gardens would not have existed here 100 years ago before William Mulholland and his gang of thieves sneaked up to Owens Valley, and using false names, false pretenses and out-and-out bribery, they swindled away the water rights. Do you think he could do that today? Not on your life!

Looking in the other direction, what we've appropriated from the Colorado River for years has thoroughly destroyed what was once the fertile Rio Colorado Basin in northern Mexico. We've grabbed so much that the river no longer even makes it to the Sea of Cortez.

It has been and continues to be a major bone of contention between the United States and Mexico. And up in the San Joaquin Valley, well, they're almost at a state of war over water rights and may knowingly allow a species of fish to go extinct in the process.

Now, I can only speak for myself, but if mankind does have any special purpose in being on this little blue orb, I certainly don't think wiping another species off the face of the Earth with our irresponsible actions is it.

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