Lawn or car?

The Bay Area is facing another water shortage this summer and that is already forcing hard choices on some neighborhoods. Although San Franciscans haven’t yet been asked officially to cut back on water use, our neighbors in the East Bay Municipal Utility District have been. Perhaps its time for all of us to start thinking about where we would cut. Watering lawns, especially if you can do it easily with a sprinkler system, is hard to give up, but then, would you be content to drive around in a dirty car? A casual scan of city streets suggests that lots of people don’t mind that at all, although as a general rule the newer the car, the cleaner it is kept. Now is the time when homeowners who have invested in climate-friendly lawn planting are reaping the benefits of not having to pour water on grasses more at home in soggy Seattle than in California. We all benefit from water conservation and one thing we know for certain is that water will always be precious and rare in California. Instead of reacting to dry spells by temporary reductions of use, perhaps we should plan to keep our water use low every day and every year–it’s the price we pay for living in one of the best climates in the world and well worth the trouble.

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