Headlines from the Future: No Water for You

The following water usage story from the San Diego newspaper today was eery, like a headline from the future appearing early:

Officials offer dire warning on water usage
by Elena Gaona
February 9, 2005

SAN MARCOS — The district that supplies water for much of San Marcos and parts of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista says it will run out of water tomorrow night or by Saturday unless residents conserve as they have been asked to do.

“It’s not good, it’s just not good,” said Bill Rucker, general manager of the Vallecitos Water District.

Rucker said that if residents don’t cease all outdoor water use immediately — mainly irrigation of lawns — he predicts up to 80,000 people could be affected, without water for even indoor use for five or six days …


  1. We get this in Australia all the time.
    Water restriction hours, penalties and “name and shame” campaigns.
    But it doesn’t make sense. 70-90% of water use is agricultural. It’s the farmers who should be given incentives to solve this problem.

  2. one way to address this in new subdivisions would be to extend lines of “grey” water (clean but not clean enough to drink) to each house for irrigation, and hook it up to a meter that charges about 5x the rate for drinking water. this would help reduce the load on local water purification facilities while also creating a disincentive to employ irrigation at all.
    there are millions of homes in the west whose owners still cling to the misplaced east-coast ideal that your home must have a green lawn, difference being the east coast gets rain all year around. in california we can go for two months without seeing a drop, with low humidity and high heat making the need for irrigation even more dire.
    i admit i am part of the problem, although as a first time homeowner i had no idea what i was getting into. if i could do it again i would have pulled up the lawn while we renovated and just put in something native that could live without heavy daily watering.