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Landscaping law would apply to four-fifths of Menlo Park homes

Original post made on May 8, 2010

Menlo Park's new water-efficient landscaping ordinance hews closely to the state's ordinance, but would apply to more homes.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 7, 2010, 10:58 AM

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Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 8, 2010 at 11:02 am

Taking a moment off, away from the HSR, here is some interesting data about water use in California.

86% is Agricultural use
8% is Residential use
6% is Industrial use

Putting bricks in toilet tanks sounds politically correct, but it's impact is actually miniscule. So is residential garden watering restricting. Trivial.

However, go ahead and do this as our new city law requires, since it provides a sense of virtue and self-sacrifice. But, please don't take it as consequential.

About that 86%. Have you ever driven through agricultural regions in California and watched the clouds of water rising from all the water sprinklers spread across the fields as far as the eye can see? Wouldn't you think that these billions of wasted gallons make a much more significant impact upon water use patterns in the state?

Why do the state's farmers do that? Because they can. Their water costs are fractions of our residential costs. They buy wholesale. We buy retail. In effect, California subsidizes agricultural water use for the sake of our very important agricultural revenues. However, that should not permit such extravagant waste.

I suggest that you stop watering your garden for a month and compare the difference to last year's same month of water consumption. Then you will discover how insignificant this difference is. There is no reason that you cannot water intelligently; that does not mean flooding your lawn!

The rule here is: Large changes in small systems are far less significant than small changes in large systems. We should be making small changes in large systems, like agriculture, rather than large changes in small systems, like personal use water restrictions.

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Posted by Guest
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Most of the water problems in California come from the massive amount of water sent south to LA and San Diego.

A tremendous amount of water could be saved by controlling population growth in the state.

The restrictions on personal freedoms are out of control in this state. The Soviet Union didn't have most of the restrictions on personal freedoms that have been implemented in this state in the last decade. Yet for some reason we still call this the Land of the Free.

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