Saturday, September 26, 2009

City Council Member Violates Water Restrictions

One would think from the title of this post that I would be against the Councilman, but the opposite is the case. Here in Los Angeles the Department of Water and Power ("DWP") initiated a rule to enforce water conservation. This is all well and good, but as often happens when a utility is given too much authority, the ruling they passed doesn't make any sense.

As it currently stands, residents may only water their lawns twice a week; before 9:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. and for no more than 15 minutes per station. This in itself is a problem, since these are not necessarily the most optimal times for ensuring that the water does not evaporate. It also restricts the freedom of the citizens who do not have automated sprinklers, as it dictates that they must be home at certain times.

What is most onerous about the rule is that it can only be done on Mondays and Thursdays, which is a blatant violation of the rights of the citizens. One cannot pursue happiness if one must be at home watering one's lawn. While restricting water usage is a good thing, attempting to legislate days and hours when water may be used is illogical and quite frankly, stupid.

Now for the Councilman. Greig Smith has admitted that he is violating the DWP's rule by running his sprinklers not twice a week, but three times a week. What makes his way better is that he runs his sprinklers for eight minutes each time. At three times a week, he is running his sprinklers a total of 24 minutes per week. Using the DWP's method, he would be running his sprinklers for 30 minutes each week. Assuming that he uses 1 gallon of water per minute, he saves 6 gallons of water per week, or 312 gallons per year.

This is not enough for the idiots at the DWP. Joe Ramallo, a spokesman for the DWP, has stated that if the DWP witnesses Smith not following their schedule, Smith will be cited and then fined. For using less water than what the DWP allows.

I think it's time we get new people working for the DWP. Ones who think would be nice. It's also time our City Council change this legislation.