2 Feb 2010

Water is Boring

JG sent this column by Ben Baeder. It's funny -- and pointed. You can write your own bottom line...
Is it just me, or have we been in a water crisis my entire life? No joke, some of my earliest memories are sitting with my dad watching super-spooky "WATER CRISIS!" stories on the local news.

People in California's water business are constantly screaming that the sky is falling - or that water or snow are not falling from it fast enough.

"Wolf! Wolf!," they scream.

But every time I turn on the faucet, water comes out.

It's cheap. It's sort of clean. And it seems like there's plenty of it.

I'm tired of hearing about water. It's so boring.


If water agencies are so hard-up, they should stop giving their workers big pay raises.

And if they are still broke, they should raise rates.

Otherwise, I don't care anymore.

Seriously, Azusa Light and Water employees just got a one-time payment of 3.75 percent of their pay from the city. LA's utility workers recently got a similar deal.

Maybe they were due for a raise, but they got it when everyone else in the private sector is getting hammered.

And, before its board buckled under political pressure, the Metropolitan Water District in October was on the verge of giving employees a 23-percent raise over the next five years.

So, do water companies have ample water and lots of money, or don't they? I can't tell.

If water is so scarce, why is the Inland Empire full of homes and mega malls?

Why are Southern California lawns lush and green?

Why, when my kids get bored, do I make their plastic slide a little more interesting by running the hose at the top?

All the while, farms in the Central Valley are going fallow and pumps in the Sacramento River Delta - at least until last year - were grinding up fish that are the bedrock of the area's ecosystem.

Logic and economics aren't applied to water issues. And I think I know why.

Quick, name the directors of your water district.

See. You don't know. In the desk that is the human mind, water districts are just clutter that gets tossed away.

It's so boring that our elected water board officials flit away public money on booze and conferences, and we don't even pay attention.

Someone needs to do away with the whole system.

I wish I could say right now the best way to fix everything. My first instinct is: keep water rates low for businesses, farms and most residential customers, then jack the rates up super high for big consumers.

Hit extravagant people in the pocketbook.

If you want a Ferrari of a front lawn, you're going to have to pay for it.

Maybe the wasters can pay for all the new water infrastructure we supposedly need.

Secondly, we need to get rid of water districts. Nobody watches them, and they're inefficient.

I would offer more solutions, but my mind got too bored.

It's on to something more exciting: prime numbers! Three, five, seven, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23. . .

1 comment:

  1. "you can write your own bottom line"...

    California and the rest of the region are enjoying and living off of the labors of their grandparents.

    Our grandparents conceived and built our water storage and delivery projects that have all but eliminated today's spoiled grandchildren's worry that water won't surge into their home anytime they want to simply turn a faucet.

    Water is now boring to the grandchildren because the blood, sweat and tears necessary to keep the water flowing is not, and was not theirs !

    It has been over two weeks and is now boring to watch a news clip on the struggle for water in an environment where it arrives in a blue bottle only because of generosity from others. The spoiled will be even more bored as the rain arrives and HDTV vividly shows how the rubble mixes with sewerage to stack up more bodies from dysentery, typhoid and cholera. To the spoiled, water delivery & sewerage treatment facilities are definitely beyond belief ... boring.

    The grandparent of today is rewarded with only laughter at any notion of new water supply projects for the environment, renewable energy or domestic tranquility.

    The spoiled won't miss the water (and their grandparents) until the well runs dry ...


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