My family and I visited Santa Barbara a couple of weeks ago (in fact, my daughter, Frieda, held one end of the banner in the St. Patrick’s Day “Stroll”), and I noticed the ominously low water flow in Mission Creek. This reminded me of something that has occurred to me since I was a child growing up in Santa Barbara on Toro Canyon Creek, which changed from a pitiable trickle most of the year to a dangerous torrent in December: Why don’t local residents with streamside properties build cisterns and pump out a few hundred gallons of those rushing millions (otherwise lost in the immensity of the Pacific) for drought-time irrigation and additional fire protection? There may be a good reason, which a civil or environmental engineer could explain to me, some complication which makes the idea impracticable. But if not, there are only bad reasons – laziness and indifference. There’s certainly no shortage of private money.