As if the economic recession has not dried up enough green (money) in Los Angeles, we are now being hit with more cutbacks that will dry up the entire city due to our wastefulness - this summer it's water that's being cut back. And last month during the budget crisis it was our public school teachers and essential school programs. The water recession, err drought, has caused mandatory water conservation (cut backs) to go into effect, but it is not being effective enough - the DWP did not meet their goal. As citizens of LA , we have been sprinkled and drenched with information on this subject by the city, but the subject of our school crisis has been left out to dry.
Water is (and always has been) a finite resource. Not just in Los Angeles, but Los Angeles is now taking action against the waste. It's too bad this city can't seem to put the same energy and resources (finite or not) into the budget cuts and waste that are decimating our public schools. Raising awareness and calling all citizens to action by circulating a packet of door hangers through local newspaper circulation is how the LADWP announces their new ordinances - and espousing that all violations are subject to fines. Maybe the next round of advertising for this campaign can also address the waste that has caused the education crisis. And maybe the fines from water waste can go to pay for the teachers and basic programs that have been cut from our kids' schools. I know an army of parents that would get behind that campaign - Save the Water, Save a Teacher!
According to the city's new water conservation ordinance, it is illegal to:
"•Use water on any hard surfaces such as sidewalks, walkways, driveways or parking areas;
•Water landscaping - including lawns - between the hours of 9a.m. and 4p.m.;
•Water using sprinklers for more that 15 minutes per watering station, 10 minutes for other irrigation systems;
•Allow runoff onto streets and gutter from excessive watering;
•Allow leaks from any pipe or fixture to go un-repaired;
•Wash vehicles without using a hose with a shut-off nozzle;
•Serve water to customers in restaurants unless requested."
Water is the new luxury, along with good, inspiring public school teachers, which used to be a taxpayers right. My landscaping is already near dead from the heat we've had this summer. As of now, I just shrug, trying not to let it bother me, knowing it will only get worse. I can live with sparse dried-up landscaping, but my kids can't flourish without good teachers and public school programs. Discussing dirt management and maintenance may become almost as fashionable as discussing the public school crisis. Imagine if the waste awareness of one could inspire a flood of awareness on the other.
Interestingly, I just read an article that stated we all don't need to drink as much water as we thought. That's timely. Coincidence? Hmmm. But I have yet to read anything that dares to state that we don't need good teachers, vice principals, art, music, or physical education for our kids.
Save the Water, Save a Teacher! It's a good anthem. Hopefully the effort to save our public schools from demise will pick up some of the flow that the water issue has...for both are vital to sustain our children, and ultimately, our society.
Thirsty, surrounded by dirt, but with wonderful teachers and school programs for my kids - I can live with that. For more information on the water conservation program, visit www.ladwp.com. For information on our public education crisis, visit www.lemonadeinitiative.com. Jump into the conversation - the temperature's fine!
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