Water School: What a Wonderful Country, the United States
APRIL 3, 2015
SOCal (as we locals like to call it) Southern California to the rest of you untrained travellers, has a population of nearly 23,000,000 residents - San Diego and Los Angeles area, to be exact. The past three years, unfortunately for those living in the sun drenched part of the country (on average about 10 inches or rain a year, compared to Pittsburgh, that has an average of 50 inches per year precipitation, and, let's say Seattle, which gets about 90 inches of precipitation per year - just by comparison), has received under the heretofore mentioned 10 inches (absolutely no discernable rain whatsoever in the past four years) and is in a serious drought condition, leaving all of those architect/city planners (get the Seinfeld reference) scrambling to find a solution to the "water distribution" problem. And, it truly is a problem. I really believe this to be true. Southern California NEEDS water.
In fact, in a recent CBS news report, we need water in this part of the country and have nowhere from which to obtain it.(Irony: Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D. NV, is so concerned about the water shortage in the Nevada and SoCal region that he has proposed spending roughly $60 million dollars, not to alleviate the rain issue, but to spend this money on a high speed train running almost 300 mph between Las Vegas and Anaheim, totally ignoring the Southwest United State's need for more water solutions).
Who needs water when you can ride from Las Vegas to LA in 80 minutes, compared to a 4 hour drive. Wow, what great strides we have taken. We have no water, but we can get from Sin City to The City of Angels in less than 1 and 1/2 hours. Now that's progress. "Let them eat cake." Or rather, "let them die of dehydration" but we can get back and forth to "work" in under two hours. What a boon. What city and regional planning.
Imagine farming this land and then knowing the powers that be are worried about getting from Las Vegas to LA in less than 2 hours
I digress, and apologize: just some background information. The real problem in this region of the United States is water acquisition. A huge and substantial part of the problem is that, in the SoCal region of the country, nearly 60% of water usage is used to keep, get this, in a SEVERELY draught-stricken area, front and back yards "green" year round. Yes, that's right. Please, Lord, give me rain for my crops 'cause them there city dwellers are worried about having GREEN LAWNS and FAST TRAINS. Now that's a mantra.
However, SoCal political leadership has "an idea." For all of those living in this region, who like green font lawns and spend 60% of the water supply doing so, are in BIG TROUBLE. In fact, the "authorities" are out in force. The SoCal area has assigned 10 "water police" agents to ticket, fine, and imprison those who are using too much water to keep their lawns green. That's right. Green front lawns equal fines and imprisonment. However, to avoid the fines and imprisonment, the political leadership gives you a choice: pay the fine or either go to prison OR go to WATER SCHOOL. That's right. Water school. (And you think you have problems). Authorities in the SoCal region have assigned special agents to seek out EXTRA WATERERS in the region to punish resident for excessive water use.
While SOME concerned homeowners in this region are digging up their well-manicured lawns and replacing them with gravel and arid climate plants in front of their houses, the rest are facing fines and being forced by overworked court systems to attend water school.
What exactly is WATER SCHOOL? It's sort of like DRIVING SCHOOL for negligent and repeat driving offenders (teenagers, elderly, and repeat DUI and DWI offenders, but with a liquid bent. WATER SCHOOL are classes in the region designed to "teach" and "instruct" water abusers how not to uses excess water. IMAGINE THAT. Judge: "I hereby sentence you to pay a $500 fine and attend three weeks of Water School because of your excessive need of green lawns."
So what is Water School exactly? The accused must sit in on classes on a weekly basis that "teaches" them how to use water effectively. These poor people. All they want to do is be left alone and have swimming pools and green front lawns. But no, the government MUST spend money and teach them how to NOT be water "overuse" offenders.
I was able to obtain a WEEK ONE and WEEK TWO "syllabi" and curriculum for Water School in the SoCal region and was very surprised to find the following "courses":
DAY ONE Morning session 7:00 am to 11:00 am (4 hours): Topic: "What is WATER?" Participants are permitted to "feel" water, "drink" water, and "play" in water in small plastic children's swimming pools in order to understand the concept of water.
DAY ONE Afternoon session 12:00 to 4:00 pm (4 hours): Topic: "What is DIRT?" Participants are mandated to explore that textures and hazards of dry soil and wet soil. Participants can and WILL dig their hands into MUD and then try to dig and cultivate, unsuccessfully, concrete hardened soil. (Note: participants who have been assigned to Water School must have appropriately government assigned insurance in the event of sprained or broken wrists trying to dig into the hardened soil).
DAY TWO Morning session 7:00 am to 11:00 am (again, 4 hours): Topic: "What does water taste like?" Participants forced to complete Water School must, blindfolded, drink several different liquids and make assertions regarding which liquid is water or which is not. (Real water, mud, dirty water, Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and urine (animal and human) are frequently used samples, but the instructor has control over substance use in this area).
DAY TWO Afternoon session 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm (4 hours): Topic: " What is a Dry Lawn?" (Field trip). Participants are taken to houses with totally dried out lawns and forced to walk on the lawn, touch the lawn, "secretly" listen into residents speaking with public officials about why they have to have dirt front yards. (Note: this is a particularly difficult course because the homeowners are so emotional).
DAY THREE (field trip day) All day: Take bus to San Francisco and drink latte's all day - attempt to appreciate the "wonders" of water."
DAY FOUR Morning Session 7:00 am to 11:OO am (DIRT PLAY): Participants are made to "dirt wrestle" in dry dirt - no water whatsoever. Participants must throw hard dirt at each other to feel what hard dirt feels like - instructors are permitted to replace dry dirt with either concrete or asphalt - up to the instructor in accordance with the ways the participants are reacting to situations.
DAY FOUR Afternoon Session 12:00 to 4:00 pm: (REAL DRAUGHT EXPERIENCES) Participants are made to sit alone, one on one, with farmers who are actually going out of business because of the lack of water. Farmers are permitted to abuse participants in any way they feel will get the point. Experience, touch, and interact with dead cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and horses or other live stock).
DAY FIVE (All day field trip): Participants are taken to houses with dead grass and landscaping and forced to apologize to the homeowners. The second half of the day is set aside for participants taken to farms and to being beat up by farmers who are losing their livelihood due to overuse of water sprinklers on front yards. Farm owners are permitted to attack the offenders with pitchforks, shovels, tractors, or whatever farm implements are available and "beat them" into submission - in order to understand the need for water on farms and not on front lawns.
DAYS ONE THROUGH FIVE (Week long field trip, at California residents' taxpayer's expense) Field Trip to:
- Boston, Mass. 7 feet of snow 2015 Winter
- Tug Hill, Jefferson County, New York (Six feet snowfall 2015)
- Seattle, Washington (70 inches of rainfall 2015)
- Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Seattle, Portland, Cleveland - Dreariest, rainiest. cloud covered regions in United States
Alas, I was only permitted to see the Week One and Week Two Curriculum for SoCal water abusers. I am told that Weeks Three and Four are more intense. I guess they (public officials) are sparing me the intense pain of these weeks.