Thursday, October 4, 2007

"Total" Watering Bans

Because of droughts, Cobb County has recently gone to the highest level of water restrictions, GA EPA water restriction level 4. This is a "total" outdoor watering ban. This means that you cannot water anything outdoors, including newly planted grass.

Oh, except if you're in one of the classes that the EPA exempts, including:

391-3-30-.05 section (5)

(a) Professionally certified or licensed landscapers, golf course contractors, and sports turf landscapers; during installation and 30 days following installation only.

(b) irrigation contractors; during installation and as needed for proper maintanence and adjustments only.
...
(h) power-washing
(k) car washes

So if I plant my own lawn I can't water it even during the first 30 days, but I can still pay someone to power wash my driveway, something I couldn't do legally myself since we got to drought level 2.

I dislike any type of outdoor watering ban, even a basic even/odd system, and would prefer that the cost of water just be jacked up until the supply meets the demand. I understand that people have a basic need to keep the toilets flushing and be able to take a shower and make dinner. It's fairly easy to get an idea of what a person's consumption is and subsidize that. If the average person uses 2000 gallons of water per month to survive, charge a $10 per person flat fee for up to 2000 gallons and then jack the price up after that until you aren't using more water than you're getting in. Yes, a bunch of car washes and pressure washers will go out of business. Yes people might not have as pretty a lawn, but if you really don't want people using up water, that's the only fair way to do it. If it's worth $50 to get your car wash, pay that. If it's not, don't. Just don't tell me I can't do X because we don't have enough water, but you'll waste thousands of gallons doing Y.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

I completely agree. We canceled our project to redo our lawn ourselves because of the ban, yet i can waste as much water as i want inside the house. you have to remember, though, that this is the government making these rules. why would you expect them to come up with a free market solution to any problem? it's not their strong suit.