Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bob Dunning: City gets serious about saving water


From page A2 | September 04, 2014 |

Taking its marching orders from the state of California’s Water Resources Control Board, the Davis City Council has put together a set of rules and regulations we all must live by.

Call it cactification, call it grassicide, call it brown-is-the-new-green, call it anything you wish. Just follow the rules and pray the cherished El Niño pays us a visit sooner rather than later.

According to Dave Ryan’s piece in Wednesday’s Enterprise, the city hopes to enforce its rules without activating the Water Police, the National Guard, the Yolo County Veterans of Foreign Wars or the much-maligned MRAP.

And remember, what the council has issued here is a mandate, not a suggestion. Break the law at your own risk.

From this day forward, Davis restaurants must not serve a glass of water unless a customer requests it. They are, however, still allowed to serve multiple glasses of wine, which utilizes 40 gallons of water for each 4-ounce glass produced.

If a patron requests more than one glass of water during the course of a meal, the restaurant manager must immediately search under the table to be certain the customer is not dumping the water into a large metal bucket to take home by dark of night.

Furthermore, the Ice Bucket Challenge is now illegal in the city of Davis. Similarly, if the Aggie football team beats Sac State in the Causeway Classic come November, dumping Gatorade on the head coach’s head will be forbidden.

Outdoor watering between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. is against the law unless you work the night shift at McDonald’s and cannot water at any other time of the day. A note from your employer is required to institute this exemption.

Outdoor watering is restricted to three days a week, but the lack of Water Police means self-reporting of violations is mandatory. Catholic water wasters may go to confession instead.

You must also wash vehicles with a hand-held bucket or a hose with a shut-off nozzle. A hand-held Budweiser is permitted while washing a vehicle for those residents over the age of 21.

If you’re running a Davis hotel, your guests must be given the option to turn down daily linen and towel changes. They can also turn down the turn-down service. Whether hotels can charge the same amount to patrons who do not request linen and towel service is unclear.

It’s also strictly forbidden for residents to water their petunias in the rain. As silly as this may sound, it actually might be the most-broken rule of all, given that most people water in the middle of the night and might be unaware that a storm has snuck into town while they’re sleeping.

Finally, almond growers will be permitted to water only that portion of their crop being produced for local consumption, a farm-to-fork mandate that will save untold gallons of water.

Of course, the more you conserve, the more likely it is you’ll trigger a whopping drought surcharge that will be added to your monthly water bill. Not paying the surcharge is also against the law.

For its part, the city promises to actually start paying for the water it uses and to stop wasting water in ways that would land the rest of us in the slammer.

The city is also planning a massive “Get Out of Town” event whereby all 65,000 residents of Davis will travel en masse to Woodland and spend an entire weekend there.

City staff estimates that by itself “Get Out of Town” will drop water use in town by approximately 7 percent per month.
It’s a new day in town. Get used to it.

Or else.

— Entries to the Contest to Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist are due by 5 p.m. Monday. Entries, between 400 and 800 words, should be emailed to [email protected] and should include a short biography and mug shot of the author.





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