Well, I see it in myself...nothing. Still watering the lawn. Even though the lawn really should go. The evaporative surface area of a lawn, someone once explained, is actually greater than a swimming pool. Be that as it may, my apartment patches of grass, however small, are still getting the hose. And I'm not getting the point we are facing a regional emergency.
And another thing. I am still growing lettuce. Okay, only six at this point. But even those should be getting graywater, not Hetch Hetchy's finest. But I digress, for the real question isn't about me, but about us. What do we do?
Reducing greenhouse emissions is a splendid national goal, but so handily blocked by political opponents that I despair. No, what do we do on a local scale? Any ideas?
The water crisis and the energy crisis do have one thing in common conservation is generally the cheapest option. For agriculture, crops like rice and cotton could disappear from California. As for urban water use, we can make major gains in recycling.
All water is recycled, of course, but what we're really talking about is processing sewage. Yes, the concept easily makes people gag. That's why we need to start talking about this now the challenge is partly technical, partly public relations. Even the best technologies for reclaiming sewer water have taken time to implement. That is to say, it takes time to convince the public. California's best example is probably Orange County where sewer water undergoes osmosis, microfiltration and UV exposure then emerges remarkably pure. The system even removes viruses and pharmaceuticals.
No one seems to be pushing hard for desalinization plants in California. The cost must still be relatively high. And more dams in the Sierras? Count me out.
What do readers know about our best strategy for a water-wise future?