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Old 07-09-2011, 05:35 PM
Location: Between Seattle and Portland
1,266 posts, read 2,837,040 times
Reputation: 1496


One paragraph in this article about the water-starved town of Llano, Texas, got me thinking:

"We're just trying to get ahead of the curve, and ask people, 'Let's slow down on your water use,'" said John Kight, the vice-president of the groundwater district, adding: "You'd be surprised at the number of people who call in and say so and so is watering."

Would you do this? And, conversely, would you risk violating water restrictions yourself if you thought your neighbor might see and report you?

The reason I ask is because a friend in an HOA community (in a drought-stricken area) actually overheard one of the board members complaining about the possibility of losing his beautiful green grass and shrubs if water restrictions were imposed.

Kinda mind-boggling when the bigger issues are more important than your freaking LAWN.

Water-Starved Town May Face Draconian Restrictions — Water Supply | The Texas Tribune
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:37 PM
Location: Palm Springs, CA
26,529 posts, read 24,979,994 times
Reputation: 7739
If my neighbor was repeatedly violating the law and using excessive amounts of water in a severe drought, then yes, I would feel compelled to report it to the police. If it only happened occasionally, then no, I would not.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:40 PM
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,355,317 times
Reputation: 27564
I'm on private water and the company reads the meter every month. They sent us letters about water restrictions and stated in the letter they were monitoring meter readings.

I think we've gone to the stage where only hand watering via hose is allowed. The grass will come back..I'm watering the foundation every few evenings as well as a few fence posts to keep them from popping.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:43 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 hours ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,902 posts, read 102,364,631 times
Reputation: 32962
A few years ago we had watering restrictions, and some of our neighbors did not obey the rule. I did not turn anyone in.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:44 PM
9,881 posts, read 9,024,811 times
Reputation: 2874
No. If the neighbor was willfully wasting water I would talk to the neighbor prior to reporting.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:42 PM
Location: Some Beach... Somewhere...
4,771 posts, read 4,020,692 times
Reputation: 4923
I'd report him only if he reported me. That reminds me, I need to increase the time on my sprinklers...
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:12 PM
1,337 posts, read 1,228,326 times
Reputation: 656
An amusing quandary is when a particular HOA is real strict about lawns being golf course green perfect, but then the locality slaps on water restrictions for long term and peoples lawns turn brown (sometimes rapidly), and then the HOA starts cranking out non-compliance letters for residents, threatening them for not having a golf course green manicured lawn. All the while the lawns are just getting even more dead as the restrictions continue, and you really can't plant new grass, including plugs, sod, or seed, because new grass actually takes even more water to grow than preexisting grass, so the new planting would just die even more quickly than the rest of the lawn or would barely germinate. The HOA then continues to threaten everyone in the neighborhood with the usual sanctions, be it fines, placing liens, even kicking residents out of their homes permanently, all thanks to government.... Whether they have the legal standing to even do so (not usually, depending on certain state specifics), somewhat beside the point, that won't stop them from at least threatening people with that such that you'll be compelled to spend all your time and money, having to fight them tooth and nail.

No. I'm not inclined to rat people out for that. I think the issue is strictly between the water provider and the customer, and if the provider wants to yank peoples service, or apply some other methodology to discourage use, they can feel free to do so. If I were to tell anybody, it most certainly would not be an irrelevant (to me) third party like the police. The police don't provide water, so they can go suck an egg... I don't think they are a relevant party to the issue from my perspective. Any usage agreements are between the customer and the water provider, so far as I am concerned, so that is the only people I would ever contact... on the off chance that I ever did. Which isn't to say I would never talk to a neighbor about it. That can be done, too.

I think more people should have a cistern that collects gutter run-off (cisterns really are quite inexpensive and pumps are not that expensive either from alternative energy stores if you know how to price them out). You can set a whole alternative grey water system set up for probably under $500, if you really wanted to such that you can water your lawn several times per week additional with just the cistern water and routing it to your solenoids, and cutting the municipal water out of the loop with a valve on days you are not supposed to water.

Craigslist is an especially good resource for finding used cisterns or rain barrels. Particularly cheap are the ones that don't need to be food grade... ones that were used on a farm or to store vegetable oil, etc... but are just clean enough for rainwater storage that doesn't need to be potable).

Last edited by FreedomThroughAnarchism; 07-09-2011 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:22 PM
25,059 posts, read 23,106,799 times
Reputation: 11618
I wouldn't spy on my neighbor. I wouldn't care either. I loved it when I lived in northeast PA my water source was a well. Free water
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:24 PM
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,397 posts, read 13,660,441 times
Reputation: 6233
I'd talk to them first.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:26 PM
3,277 posts, read 4,608,271 times
Reputation: 1913
I recall learning somewhere that lawn care accounts for an absurd 60% of household water usage. A resource that billions in the world would kill to have, and we pour it outside.

If you have a lawn, it is because your local ecosystem supports it. If you don't, it's because your local ecosystem does not support it. Using up large amounts of freshwater in an area that does not receive a lot of rainfall purely for aesthetic purposes, to green a lawn that either shouldn't be green or shouldn't even exist, is hubris.

But hey, that's First World Problems for you.
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