You'd think that people who make personal sacrifices to conserve water during a severe drought would be rewarded, but no good deed goes unpunished and apparently some parts of California are have been annexed by Bizarro World because reducing your water usage can get you fined. This is what happened to Laura Whitney and Michael Korte, a couple living in Glendora, near Los Angeles in California.
After doing their part by cutting down on lawn watering, taking shorter showers, reducing the number of their loads of laundry by packing in more clothes per wash, etc, they face a fine of up to $500 for not keeping their lawn green enough. A letter from the city warns them that they have 60 days to green their lawn, otherwise they need to cough up the cash.
"I don't think it's right for us to start pouring water into our lawn in the middle of July during a drought," said Whitney. "We're kind of in a quandary about what to do. [...] My friends in Los Angeles got these letters warning they could be fined if they water, and I got a letter warning that I could be fined for not watering."
Totally ridiculous, especially when you consider the severity of the situation:
This is the third year of drought for California. Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in January, and damage is expected to cost the state over $2 billion and 17,000 agricultural jobs.
Meanwhile, California is getting ready to impose mandatory water restrictions on its citizens because voluntary goals of 20% reduction were not reached (instead, water consumption went up 1% in May). Talk about mixed signals. On one hand, the state is pushing hard to conserve water, but on the other, various cities are handing out fines to people who don't waste drinking water by watering their (somewhat pointless) lawns.
How about making some cosmetic sacrifices for the greater good?
What do you think?