Sunday, September 28, 2014

California "Drought" Update

Many of the yards are brown now, like the surrounding hills.  Of course the hills turn brown every year during the dry season, so the normal climate reality is gradually seeping into the life style of the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley rich.  Thankfully the large Fremont public park and golf course are still green, which means that there is plenty of feed for the geese and ducks.

The Alameda Country Water District sent me a mild threat. Actually my water usage is about as low as it can get, given that my yard is a rock garden and I take many showers elsewhere.  The only families more exemplary than us have an empty house and live elsewhere.  Yet the note contained a warning that those using more than certain thresholds would be assessed increased penalties on the added use.  Thus, a larger or extended family would likely be slapped.  Per the usual rules, any solution is worthy of consideration as long as it doesn't involve free market mechanisms.

This article has some of the proposals from elsewhere in our state.    The note I enjoy the most is this:  "In Santa Monica, the City Council passed a first-reading in August of an ordinance that would apply an indoor water allocation of 68 gallons per-person-per-capita for every single-family home with four people, said Gilbert Borboa, water resources manager for the city of Santa Monica".  Wow.  Let's get specific, but ignore the outside water usage.  But apparently in Santa Monica there are multiple per-persons per-capita, or perhaps that is multiple per-capitas per person.  Of maybe per-capita refers to pets?  Or is that cars?  And if a car is washed outside, is it a different water allocation than washing it inside?  What if I take my showers outside?  Fortunately Santa Monica has many lawyers who can assist in sorting this out.  And Hollywood is nearby, so there is no shortage of creative thinking.

California's legal crops seem to be taking a hit.  What would be helpful is to get a read on the number of hectares of marijuana that are under cultivation, and whether that is increasing or decreasing relative to last year.  Then there is the fish happiness index which undoubtedly relates to the amount of water that is flowing from the dams into the Sacramento Delta.  Thus, it is still hard to get a complete read on the impact of the "drought".

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