It’s a Drought You Silly Rich People

posted in: Environmental, Research | 0

Went out to dinner with friends Saturday night, this conversation happened. Let me set the scene. We sat in a comfy half moon booth in an insanely decorated, upscale, Indian restaurant in North Park. A belly dancer is in the background doing her exotic moves with a Boa Constrictor wrapped around her body. Amazing. A waiter walks by with a tray of half empty water glasses toward the kitchen.

Belly Dancer at Bombay in North Park
Photo: by Lynn Howard

“You aren’t going to dump those are you?” Lynn reached out and touched his arm as he walked by.

The waiter turned, and kind of smiled. He was probably thinking, great crazy women.

“You should take those out back and water some plants.”

At this point I could see on his face he was thinking definitely crazy women. He nodded, smiled and continued his path.

But she’s right. We need to conserve every drop! California is in a god-awful terrible drought and the state seems to be in denial. Fast forward to Sunday morning. I am making the special Sunday brunch. Chorizo sausage gravy, eggs over easy and pan fried potatoes with onions and hatch chile, all topped with our home made guacamole, and mimosas to wash it down. I digress.

As I was cooking Todd finds this article in the Washington Post. Oh you silly rich people. They don’t even know how vulgar they sound. Here are some choice quotes with my completely non-pc responses:

“Steve Yuhas resents the idea that it is somehow shameful to be a water hog. If you can pay for it, he argues, you should get your water. “ No Steve it is shameful to be a water hog when the state is in an emergency drought. You are acting like a complete elitist.

“It angers me because people aren’t looking at the overall picture,” Butler said. “What are we supposed to do, just have dirt around our house on four acres?” The overall picture is that Lake Mead is drying up and farmers can’t water their crops. Boohoo for your four acres. Have you heard of dry-scaping. Look it up – it’s a thing.

Brett Barbre, who lives in the Orange County community  sits on the 37-member board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a huge water wholesaler serving 17 million customers. He is fond of referring to his watering hose with Charlton Heston’s famous quote about guns: “They’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.” That can be arranged. 

These quotes from people living in Rancho Sante Fe a community of about 3,300 people, median income of $186,000, and “guzzles FIVE TIME MORE water per capita than the statewide average.” The kicker? After Governor Brown called for a 25% reduction in water use consumption in Rancho Sante Fe increased 9%.

These comments in the face of our current drought shows how completely out of touch with reality these people are. Farmers can’t even water their crops, and these nimrods are concerned about not having grass. The idea is so offensive, so selfish, so just untenable.

Lake Mead at lowest point
Lake Mead at Lowest Point photo courtesy of

To be fair, this isn’t every single person in Rancho Sante Fe, but just like so many other things, the few spoil everything and cast a shadow on the whole community.

If I had my way, which I very rarely do 😉 I would:

  • Make grass illegal. Rip it out. Get rid of it yesterday. Grass is NOT native to San Diego.
  • Provide rainwater collection barrels to every household.
  • Institute strict building codes to ensure latest water recycling, collection, and equipment, i.e. Tankless water heaters, are used in any new home or commercial building.
  • Collect all the rain water instead of letting it run down the streets into the storm drains and out to the ocean.

I know the issue is more complicated than this. And there are organizations out there like San Diego Coastkeeper fighting the good fight for regulations and issues surrounding water rights and supply. I am just thinking what each and every person CAN do to assist. Because maybe if we do, we can make some sort of difference.

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