Humanity is Awful-Fest 2014 is still going strong! This time, a couple in California are being punished for attempting to conserve water and not watering their lawn.
Laura Whitney and Michael Korte have been trying to cut back on their water consumption by doing a number of things including watering their lawn less. Because manmade fields of grass should maybe lost priority when there's not a lot of water—maybe I'm being too presumptuous. So in an effort to conserve water, they allowed their lawn to dry out and go brown. Big fuckin' mistake.
They received a letter from the city of Glendora stating:
"Despite the water conservation efforts, we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green."
They had 60 days to freshen up their lawn or they would face a fine of $100 to $500. Via Reuters:
In Glendora, City Manager Chris Jeffers said the city did encourage conservation, but that Korte's and Whitney's lawn was in such bad shape that it was reported as possibly abandoned.
"We were responding to a complaint that we received of a possible abandoned property," Jeffers said. "Crews visited and determined it was not abandoned, but not kept. The landscape was dead and there were large areas of just dirt."
"Conservation does not mean neighborhoods need to deteriorate because property owners want (the) landscape to die or go unmaintained," he said
Uh, first of all, and I know it's small, no property owner wants their landscape to die. Second, it appears as though Mr. Jeffers does not really understand the concept of conservation or the irony that overconsumption (such as overwatering lawns) is a pretty sizable factor in droughts that lead to conservation efforts.
The very same week Whitney and Korte received their letter from the city of Glendora, the State Water Resources Control Board instated mandatory water restrictions to stem wasteful use after finding water consumption had increased. Offenders would have to pay $500 fine.
"My friends in Los Angeles got these letters warning they could be fined if they water, and I got a letter warning that I could be fined for not watering," Whitney told the Associated Press
. "I felt like I was in an alternate universe."
While Governor Jerry Brown issued an order saying that homeowners associations (aka Stepford troll-demons from hell) cannot punish homeowners for not watering their lawns, there is nothing that keeps city officials from doing something about it.
Meanwhile, more than a thousand people protested in Detroit on Friday over the water shut-offs that more than anything serves to highlight racial prejudice. Meanwhile hundreds of millions of people don't have access to water around the world. Meanwhile, sigh, nevermind.