Thursday, January 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: What if our water is TOO smart?

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | October 24, 2013 |

Public-minded citizen that I am, I received an unsolicited email from the city I love that contained all kinds of personal information, some of it troubling and some of it encouraging. I think this is the city’s version of “tough love,” but who can be sure anymore?
Strangely, it was addressed to “Robert,” which is a name only my mother, my West Davis Elementary School principal and my Catechism teacher have ever called me in my entire life.
And given that there are six of us living under one East Davis roof, I’m not sure why I was singled out for both admonishment and praise.
The return address on this official guided missive complete with colorful graphics was “[email protected],” which is our local government’s way of spying on the water habits of unsuspecting Davisites. Something from this communication tells me the city knows every time I shower, flush or watch the kids run through the sprinklers in the back yard. Which is OK. It’s nice to know someone cares.
“Reduce irrigation to a maximum of 3 days per week, 12 minutes per day in October,” the city demanded without explaining if I would be guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony if I fail to comply.
While I appreciate the city reminding me that it is, indeed, October, I’m not sure what they think I’m irrigating. I mean, we harvested the tomatoes and sent them off to the cannery late last month and the hay has been in the barn for weeks now. The little bit of water we put on the lawn would hardly qualify as “irrigation.”
I can’t imagine watering the grass for 12 solid minutes, mostly because after just 90 seconds with the sprinklers on, the slope of the ground starts sending water over the city sidewalk and directly into the city gutter and on down the street where it runs through a grate into the big hole in the ground. Thus, anything more than a minute and a half is wasted.
But there it was in black and white, just above the pale blue City of Davis old-fashioned bicycle logo: “Reduce irrigation to a maximum of 3 days per week, 12 minutes per day in October.”
Then again, since this was addressed to “Robert” and not to “Bob,” maybe they have the wrong guy altogether. A simple case of mistaken water use identity.
“This report is not a bill,” the correspondence continued. “We are providing this information to help you save water and money.”
Big Brother loves me.
Then, oddly, what follows is a goofy green raindrop with a smiley face. “Robert,” Mr. Raindrop says, “thanks for learning more about your water and ways to use it wisely.” He then tells me how many gallons of water our household uses each day, with the further advice to “Keep up the great work!”
Holy exclamation points, I think maybe we’re doing something right, even if the city does want us to set our sprinklers much longer than they’re set now. The good news is that Robert (see photo above) has no idea how to reset a sprinkler, so the status quo is in no danger.
But wait, there’s more. Immediately below the green smiley face raindrop is a green dollar bill sign inside an equally green circle. Clearly, the color of the month for October is green.
“Congratulations!” it began, once again using exciting punctuation marks to create a mood that mere words never could.
“Your household is one of the most water-efficient homes in Davis. Share your success.”
My mama taught me not to brag, but glory hallelujah, sweetheart, let’s go tell the neighbors about our good fortune and throw a block party with all the money we’ve saved.
Just don’t touch those sprinklers.

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Comments

comments

.

News

 
‘Huck’ and ‘Tom’ float old Arboretum dock to removal

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Work continues to modernize Davis Healthcare Center

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

Holman continues to educate and inspire

By Daniella Tutino | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Biologists: Raising California dam would harm salmon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Teens arrested after midnight joyride

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Overweight video game avatars ‘play’ worse than fit ones

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Author joins radio show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Make your own SoulCollage on Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Calling all chicken owners: Apply for coop crawl, share information

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Walk through Quail Ridge Reserve on Feb. 14

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Hopmans named associate vice provost for global affairs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Review motivation to refresh your healthy-habits plan

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Tips to protect skin this winter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
For health and healthy appearance, there’s just one quick fix

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Measles outbreak grows

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

 
NAMI-Yolo examines inpatient services at potluck

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Basement living, with attitude to match

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
50 years since Ash Hall

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Can climate change bring us together?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Paso Fino coming to a vote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Aggies still looking for record hoops win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Blue Devil Hammond has a huge day at home

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Pent up? Join Davis’ latest athletic event

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Two in a row for Devil boys

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD roundup: Aggie football players crack the books

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Youth roundup: Harper hoopsters off to hot start

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Treys send Toronto past Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

It’s Girl Scout Cookie time!

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
What’s happening

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

College Corner: Have wanderlust? Go overseas for college

By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: A8

 
District learns from bomb threat incident

By Kellen Browning | From Page: A8

Feenstra-Fisher wedding

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
.

Arts

Show explores the evolution of dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
A rose by any other name — if there is one

By Michael Lewis | From Page: A11

 
Acclaimed guitarist Adrian Legg to play at The Palms on Saturday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

James George Tingus

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, January 29, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B6