Drought, not out

Published March 23, 2019, 12:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat



Jullie Y. Daza
Jullie Y. Daza

We could learn a few things from Sacramento, capital of California, USA, which went through a drought for seven years but “we were never without water, not for a single day.”

A long-time resident assures me the winter just gone pulled Sac out of the drought, officially, so they’re 100 percent normal and expecting wind and rain, more pleasant weather, cool and balmy. Melting snow flowing from Lake Tahoe and the Sierras sent water downstream to the southern parts of the state, including Los Angeles, home to thousands of Filipinos. But even with the end of the drought – i.e., less rain falling on the just and the unjust – the people are constantly reminded not to waste water and essentially to continue observing their save-water habits, such as

  1. Hosing down cars and watering lawns two times a week only.
  1. A phone line dedicated to reporting on neighbors violating restrictions.
  1. Sloganeering is in; for example, “Brown is the new gold.”
  1. Restaurants do not serve water unless asked.
  1. Use paper plates when there’s a party.

At one point, conservation measures “worked so well” that the water company suffered drought of another kind – no revenue. Moves were afoot to charge consumers higher rates, but “it backfired.” Now the plan is to stop the usual flat rate and instead bill them according to consumption, starting next year, with water meters.

I wish Sacramento could learn from our March 8-16 experience, but that would be showing them the worst example of gross egregiousness. Imagine, bone-dry taps until the President screamed out an order and suddenly water came gushing out! Imagine, 32 agencies handling/mishandling the water business. Imagine, studies to build new reservoirs frozen for decades by political considerations. And now, silly conspiracy and counter-conspiracy theories flooding the conversation!