Water restrictions. Is anyone listening?

Last year I wrote about some creative ideas for water use as it related to a water restrictions in my area. A few weeks ago they eased the water usage policy in the Metro Atlanta area after a healthy bit of rain fall in the winter and spring. I think its rained once since then and we’ve had temperatures consistently in the upper 90s for the past couple of weeks. Meanwhile water usage has climbed again as residents are now running the water on their lawns and washing their cars again. It’s just a matter of time before we go back on the usage restrictions.

So my question is, what has the government and water agency done to make better use of our water supply? Have our residents learned that we can’t go back to our old ways of water when you want and the mentality that water is in never ending supply? What is the plan to better distribute this natural resource over a growing metro/region population here in Georgia? For that matter many cities are in or will soon be in the same situation. On a recent trip to San Antonio Texas, my boss told me they were now under a water usage guideline as well.

What I’ve seen thus far is that they have raised the base rate and the increased the rate for heavy usage. The base rate price increase would offset the recent decline in use based on restrictions while the top tier and summer time rate increase is intended to get high use residents to cut back on usage.

Here are some ideas for thought:

  • Promote some of the new synthetic lawn materials used on sports fields. Many youth organizations are putting these in to reduce the maintenance costs. As with other energy savings devices, residents could be incented with rebates or tax breaks.
  • Promote the use of water catching devices such as rain barrels.
  • Promote the benefits of having less lawn space more natural or wooded areas.
  • Incent developers to leave more natural or wooded areas in new construction instead of plowing every tree in site.
  • Make and market waterless toilets
  • Promote the heck out of water conservation in our schools. Get through to the next generation how important it is to use water wisely.
  • Here’s 100 ways to conserve water

I guess my point is that we are coming to an age of water conservation and regulation all the time. Instead of blindly throwing our drinking water on the lawns or cars we need to make sure as a society that we are using this resource wisely. Otherwise it won’t be such a nice place to live for and grandchildren and future generations.

So what are you doing to save water and promote conservation? I applaud all of the creative thought going into this global issue. I hope our government agencies get on board to join and support these efforts.