The California Drought – Finally a Disaster We Can All Agree On

The California Drought – Finally a Disaster We Can All Agree On

Not photoshopped. Seafarers can walk from shore to shore using boats as stepping stones.

Not photoshopped. Seafarers can walk from shore to shore using boats as stepping stones.

Few things bind a country together more tightly than an attack on our shared interests. 911 proved that as did the hasty return of the McRib sandwich after MacDonald’s unwisely removed it from their menu. And now the latest wagon-circling calamity: California’s third year of record drought brought about by the coordinated efforts of El Niña and Al-Qaeda. Alright maybe Al-Qaeda has nothing to do with it, but they’re sure happy about our parched state (get it). If a rising tide lifts all boats, well then a falling tide makes them look like cock-eyed toy boats run aground in a bathtub. And right now California looks like somebody drained all the fun out of our hot tub.

California’s shared water deficit has become a rallying cry for both the rancher and the stoner alike. Their common ground is in the rancher being able to water his cattle and for the stoner being able to water his pot plants (stoners generally water on a timer because they usually “space” the actual task itself). In combating the withering scourge of unwelcomed dehydration, we take great comfort in witnessing the cooperative efforts of such strange bedfellows as Seth Rogen and California Almond Growers? The California Almond Growers have agreed to reduce their watering of the nation’s almond supply by one million acre-feet of water and Mr. Rogen has similarly agreed to reduce watering his considerable cannabis crop by that same amount. Together the happy stoner and the Jolly Rancher can fight this scourge with prudent water management and, at Mr. Rogen’s suggestion, a “really far-out rain dance at the next Burning Man.”

On a more local level, I’ve taken concrete steps to reduce my residential water use. And even though concrete steps are more difficult than say baby steps, I believe they do more good. For example, I now drink my ice water with just ice. Sure it’s harder; like walking up rock hard stairs. But isn’t that what taking concrete steps means? I also save water in other ways. For example I now shower with my dog and sometimes my dirty dishes. In efforts to minimize the strain on municipal water systems, I flush my toilet only one time per day whether it needs it or not. I also leave little reminder notes on my neighbors’ lawns saying, “Brown is the new green.” I wonder if these reminders are related to my removal from my HOA’s board. Some have branded me a fascist eco-Nazi. Yeah, well they said the same thing about Hitler too – minus the “eco” thing. OK, maybe we should just forget those last 2 sentences. I think the fumes from the toilet are getting to me; plus I’m pretty dehydrated from trying to drink ice. I’m even hoarding water now. I’ve discovered that you can pour the stuff into a tray and store it in the freezer for future use.  

I’ve reduced my water use in other ways. For example, I store water that runs off my roof when it rains – at least I plan to, just as soon as it does. The guy at the hardware store warned me that “storing water from your roof can be a slippery slope.” He may have been a comedian. And now that I think of it, I may not have been at a hardware store. I started thinking hard about the water shortage and became fully immersed in the drought – not an easy thing to do if you think about it. I came to a great realization: there is no such thing as a hot water heater. There are only cold water heaters that heat cold water; otherwise heating hot water would be like donating money to Warren Buffet.  


 — The following banner is one of those bogus internet headlines designed to produce outrage and click throughs —

7 Concrete Steps to Saving Water the Obama Administration Doesn’t Want You to Know About.

The following are some immediate things you can do to save water for all of God’s children and even some of his nephews:

  1. Desalinize Bruce Jenner
  2. Relocate your hot water heater from Scottsdale, Arizona to someplace closer to your shower head; like maybe the linen closet. This way you won’t have to wait 25 minutes for it to warm up while you pose in the mirror as a dunk tank’s worth of precious water gurgles down the drain.
  3. Criminalize spitting
  4. Freeze water for later use when its scarce or gone (see online recipes at
  5. Lower your saliva footprint with a recycling spittoon. Now you can spit like a sailor and help alleviate the drought. Designer spittoons are available in personal and fountain size.
  6. Instead of doing the dishes after every meal simply throw them away and buy new. It saves water and somewhere Anthony Quinn is smiling (Don’t worry I don’t quite get it either).
  7. Protest the lack of water. Occupy Lake Shasta.

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

On a grander scale, various interventions have been proposed to palliate California’s water shortage. By pooling our resources we can be better stewards of our god given water. It may be god given, but it’s overseen by 90 separate water districts in California and not an easy thing to coordinate. Cloud seeding has been viewed as an expedient when discussing drought abatements. Airborne weather modifiers (pilots) try to generate precipitation (rain) from clouds (big puffy white things) in the form of rain (precipitation) by seeding clouds with silver iodide aerosols (silver iodide aerosols). Some attempts have been more successful than others. If it rains for more than 4 hours in your locality you should consult a meteorologist immediately.

Some say this unnatural act of seeding clouds from airplanes is playing god. Well I say someone has to step up in this emergency, and if god won’t, then I’ll rely on actors stepping up to fulfill his role. This is how many of our most popular religions were formed and that’s gone pretty well. Cloud seeding however, is no panacea. Some efforts to seed clouds have meet with failure because Apple and Google got there first and have taken most of the usable space in The Cloud. It also hasn’t helped that some starry-eyed pilots returning from their aborted seeding attempts have dreamily mused, “🎶 I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now. I really don’t know life…at all. 🎶”

I’m not trying to be punny, but maybe I’m all wet about this about this drought thing. It’s a fluid situation demanding cool, deliberative decisions by people with ice water in their veins. In the end though I believe that despite man’s attempts to improve the situation, it will take several acts of nature, rained down on us over a protracted period of time to restore our state’s hydrostatic equilibrium. Perhaps through genetic modification we can alter our bodies from carbon-based organisms to hummus-based organisms and all we’d need to survive is ground chick peas. Homo sapiens will die out and Hummus sapiens rule the day, but there’ll still be people who are hummus-phobic.

As I go back and reread this, I’m beginning to think that perhaps I’ve been spending a little too much time at the Seth Rogen plantation.

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