Even with the recent rain, it looks as if Northern California is going to be seriously short of water when summer rolls around. Which means some sort of conservation will be in effect -- either mandatory or voluntary.
At my house, that could mean a certain sixth-grader will have to cut her shower time in half -- to 58 minutes.
People will have to be creative, because this water issue is no laughing matter. Wikipedia says that humans may even need water to live. And I have enough problems without dying. Like finding a decent Chinese restaurant that doesn't charge more than my car payment for a family of five to eat.
I already do some things to save water. Instead of throwing out ice, I dump it into a plant. Sometimes when waiting for the water to get hot, I fill a watering can to water other plants. Sometimes when my wife takes a shower, I attempt to take one at the same time.
That one usually doesn't work. But, for the good of my fellow Californians, I'll keep trying.
There are lots of things I'd be willing to try. For example:
Not washing clothes: Basically, I get up each morning and choose that day's shirt depending on the degree of old food stains on display. So, really, less washing won't be that big of a deal. And I'm worse than most male journalists, who aren't exactly known for projecting a shining image of metrosexuality, so I'll wear more deodorant. The suggestion will be met with mixed results from the rest of my family. My wife is a real live businesswoman, who has to look the part, and my 5-year-old wants to have her next birthday party in the shoe department of Bloomingdale's. So it's up to me and the middle schoolers to go grubby for the good of California.
Taking dirt baths: Lots of animals do this and, like my grandma used to say, if it's good enough for a cape ground squirrel or kangaroo rat, it's good enough for her grandson. Besides, my research (3.8 seconds on the Internet) shows it's a great way to get rid of parasites.
Reusing plates and glasses: Seriously, this drives me nuts. A kid gets a glass of water, puts it in the sink when she's done, then gets out another glass to have more water 20 minutes later. It makes me want to abandon them all in a forest somewhere.
OK, not true (he said, hoping local child welfare workers have a sense of humor).
Reusing towels: This is another thing about which I'm serious (don't worry -- it will be the last). Guess what: When you towel off after a shower, you're clean (theoretically). So the towel isn't so dirty, as long as you hang it up to dry and it doesn't get moldy. In my kids' rooms, I can't see the floor for the used towels. It makes me want to abandon them in a ...
Anyway, inspired by our governor's efforts in trying to give water to all those Hollywood commies, I considered building my own water tunnel from the nearest creek. Then I realized the homeowners association might have a teensy problem with an unapproved, major construction project being undertaken by a renter. So, it dawned on me that the creek -- which is right behind my neighbor's place across the street -- has a pretty good flow to it. Therefore, there's no reason why we can't bathe in it. After all, the water goes to the bay anyway. ... It's not like anyone is drinking it.
We're going to do our part at my house, one way or another. And if it means frightening the neighbors by walking to and from the creek in a reused towel, so be it. We'll be scaring them for their own good.