Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008 | Water use is a very complex issue. Let’s start with my home, for example. There are so many variables in our household water use … we have a college student and a recent graduate, so young adult children move in and move out again, and for us there is no such things as “normal” water consumption. The plan described in “What Rationing Will Look Like” seems very superficial. It makes no distinction between water use due to a leaky jacuzzi versus bringing home a baby, or providing daycare for a grandchild who comes only during summer months. Perhaps you suddenly begin laundering cloth diapers in a water-saving washer in order to keep waste out of the landfills, are you a criminal?

Or you are a retiree growing a vegetable garden to fill your time, reduce the cost of food and transport, not to mention fight global warming, but now you are on public record as a water guzzler, a public enemy. The neighbor-versus-neighbor issue is potentially explosive. Someone who has never covered their pool and still uses the old-fashioned toilets could be pointing fingers at a neighbor’s garden when that neighbor drives fewer cars and washes dinner dishes by hand. How would you determine who is the real offender?

I believe there is a need to devise criteria on which one could dispute a citation, and it would be common sense to have every neighbor who complains be investigated as well. I mean this quite seriously. Neighbors have become bullies about lesser things.

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