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Letter: Stigmatize the waste of water

February 19, 2014

In the midst of this record-breaking drought, emerald green lawns blight our landscape. Block after block, there are lawns lavished with so much water it runs off the surface, down the street and into storm drains. This wastefulness and self-absorption are harming our economy and ruining natural habitats across the West.

Being able to pay for profligate water use doesn’t make it right, just as being able to pay for cocaine or prostitutes doesn’t make those things right either. Financial resources cannot excuse wrongdoing and this should extend to watering lawns in a drought.

Will the situation for La Cañada have to become like that of Sierra Madre in 2013 before we take action? Sierra Madre was about to suck air through its faucets. Voluntary cutbacks weren’t enough. The town was forced to make an emergency connection to a water line serving another community. Disaster was averted at a vast increase in cost to everyone.

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Profligate water use is unethical and socially and environmentally irresponsible. In this drought emergency, we can’t keep finding more water. We can’t just tap into another line. The emergency applies to ALL of us. Stop watering your lawn. You’ll have money for the parcel tax in no time and the money will be much better spent on our schools.

In wealthy suburbs of Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, there is social stigma if your lawn isn’t brown in summer or in a drought. Australians get it. It’s time we do, too.

Lisa Novick
La Cañada Flintridge

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