We Can’t Live Without Water

With so much coverage of our water emergency — including good recent pieces by Nick Welsh as journalist and as Angry Poodle — our local water agencies have no excuse for not doing the Right Thing as regards aggressive insistence on water conservation. Kudos to Goleta for its past good conduct, but that’s no excuse for refusing to cut back now. And somebody needs to spank the other water districts for thinking that, just because Goleta won’t cut back, they don’t need to.

That’s the same terrifying logic behind so much resistance to having the U.S. reduce our fossil fuel consumption. The argument goes, “Well, China and India are still guzzling oil and coal, so why shouldn’t we?” Isn’t that what we used to say as kids, when our parents wanted us to do (or not) something that other kids weren’t (or were). And what would they say back? “Just because Billy’s parents let him torture cats doesn’t make it right for you to do it too.”

What we need is for the local water districts to get tough with their customers. It’s time to institute rationing and to install flow restrictors. It’s time to put harsh reminders — along with helpful-hints lists — in every water bill that goes out. And it’s time for all water-intensive practices, especially fracking and steam injection, to come to a halt throughout California. We can live without oil and gas. We can’t live without water. End of story.

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