Now that freedom is on the march and there’s a movement afoot to allow us to burn incandescent light bulbs if that’s what we want, perhaps the next battleground is water.
As the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports today, there’s a coming “crackdown” on people who use too much water on their lawns.
“To crack down on such water wasters, Woodbury is pioneering a new water-conservation tool — water audits.”
“Officials were outraged to learn that a single user — a home in the ritzy Powers Lake Point area — used 471,000 gallons last summer.”
A “crackdown”? “Outrage?” You’d think the “targeted” homeowners were breaking the law. But, in fact, they aren’t. While these homeowners may be gluttonous, earth-destroying, sloths, there’s no law to stop them. Should there be?
As usual, the greatest show on earth, is the comments section of a newspaper’s Web site, with opinion ranging from:
More liberals controlling our lives-Kids are starving in Haiti due to ethonal and we wnat to monitor water usage in Woodbury. Great!!!!!
The state legislature needs to get involved in this water debacle. We need to implement a state-wide tax of at least $1 per gallon of water used.
That last one came from someone from North Dakota. Three words, Fargo: You go first.
As any newspaper carrier can tell you, an early-morning drive around Woodbury, especially in the rain, will find lots of automatic sprinklers in action (usually in townhome developments where no single person appears to be in charge anyway).
There actually is a law in Minnesota that requires rain sensors to be installed on lawn-irrigation systems. It passed by wide margins in the Republican-controlled House, the DFL-controlled Senate and was signed by the Republican governor.
The real mystery here is what is it about green lawns that drives Minnesota into such irrational exuberance? I have friends — yeah, in Woodbury — who weren’t sucked into the lawn-care marketing and when dandelions sprouted, their neighbor came in the dark of night and applied weed-killer to their lawn. What is it we think a green lawn says about us that we’re so desperate to have it say?
Ted Steinberg, author of “American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn,” says it’s a Post World War II thing:
As American industry became more efficient in turning out innovations people needed–such as washing machines, stoves, cars and more–there still was plenty of capacity left over to turn out even more products that were less essential–such as those that could be used to create and maintain perfect lawns.