While I was washing my hair I noticed that my shampoo bottle had some helpful advice. The text on the back of the bottle told me I should turn off the water while shampooing and conditioning. I spend fifteen to twenty seconds turning knobs, waiting, feeling the water temperature, turning knobs, waiting, feeling the water. Each adjustment is ever finer and more delicate until—hopefully—perfection is finally achieved. But the shampoo bottle says that—with soap all over my hair and face—I should begin that process from scratch all over again, just so ten seconds of water is not wasted while I'm lathering. Brilliance!
It occurred to me that since we really really want to conserve that most precious substance on Earth—that covers three-fourths of the Earth's surface—we need to open up the old suggestion box and solicit some fresh new ideas. I'm going to list a few of my own below, but I'd really like it if you guys would share some ideas as well. We just have to get a handle on this runaway water wastage before we run completely out!
Right off the bat the first thing that occurs to me is that some places have lots of water—sometimes too much water—while others have almost none. Therefore step one in my water conservation suggestion box is: MOVE OUT OF THE DESERT!
If you live in California right now, congratulations! You have in your estuaries, some endangered minnows named Delta Smelt. Here are a few facts about your water supply and your so-precious minnows:
- California’s water storage and transportation system designed by federal and state governments includes 1,200 miles of canals and nearly 50 reservoirs that provide water to about 22 million people and irrigate about four million acres of land throughout the state.
- In May 2007, a Federal District Court Judge ruled that increased amounts of water had to be re-allocated towards protecting the Delta smelt – a three-inch fish on the Endangered Species List.
- Because of this ruling, in 2009 and 2010 more than 300 billion gallons (or 1 million acre-feet) of water were diverted away from farmers in the Central Valley and into the San Francisco Bay – eventually going out into the Pacific Ocean.
- This man-made drought cost thousands of farm workers their jobs, inflicted up to 40 percent unemployment in certain communities, and fallowed hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile farmland.
These are macro-solutions which—if implemented would probably be amazingly successful, but there are micro solutions—like my shampoo bottle—which when—and if—implemented by the people in their homes, at their jobs, on their farms, etc., would also do their own small part to conserve. We should all be conservatives when it comes to water. Be conservative, don't waste this natural resource! Curb your urge to liberally apply water willy-nilly. Remember be a conservative, not a liberal!
You know, this reminds me so much of when I was a small child and absolutely refused to eat my broccoli. My parents would patiently explain that children in other countries were starving, and my refusal to eat these leafy cruciferous vegetables was a slap in the face to them in their desperate plight. I listened carefully to what they had to say, and then asked them for an envelope and a stamp. After all, if starving kids in Africa want my broccoli, who am I to stand in their way? Okay that last part where I came back with the snappy zinger isn't true ... but that there is some damn good repartee if you ever find yourself being dunned and damned for wasting something you happen to have in great abundance when there is somebody somewhere else in the world who would like to have it instead.
This brings me back to water. I live next to the Mississippi Delta. (See suggestion #1) The Mississippi river—one of the largest rivers in the world—is a couple of miles from where I'm sitting right now. We have fresh water, and all it requires to make it potable is a little bit of filtration. Yes, I waste something that is found in awesomely plentiful abundance right where I live, and if you believe I'm somehow being disrespectful to those facing a scarcity of water, then I invite whoever wants to, to come here and haul away as much as they can carry. Hey Californians! Yall come on down and set a spell, then you go on and load up your buckets and barrels and what-not. I won't say nary a word.
Without further ado, some ideas for people who live in over-regulated moon-bat designed deserts and don't have U-hauls:
- Have dirty car contests. The idea is to make people think washed with water is bad and dirty is good!
- Shame neighbors that have lush green lawns: "Hey Charlie, nice lawn you got there...you prick!"
- Take baths as seldomly as possible. Do like the French and douse liberally with toilet water.(Not water from the toilet! That would be wasting it.)
- When you take a shower, why not wash the dishes at the same time?
- Do you really need to rinse your mouth and your toothbrush after brushing? Don't be such a wuss!
- Stop all that water-wasting exercise you do. Sit calmly on a couch and drink beer instead.
- There's always one neighbor who thinks he's special and just has to have a swimming pool. No I'm not going to tell you to throw dog-poo in the pool. He'd just waste more water draining and refilling it. Instead push his car into the pool. You probably won't have to do this more than twice.
- For a refreshing and cool drink of water, skip the faucet and lick the window above your air-conditioner instead.
- If the neighbor with the pool doesn't have a car, you do have dirty laundry. Do I have to spell it out for you?