We are in a bit of a drought here. I’m not sure of the actual definition of a drought, but despite the fact that I live on the We(s)t Coast of Canada, there has been no appreciable rainfall since maybe April. So while we are currently enjoying a very long stretch of unusually dry and warm weather, the downside of that is our diminishing water supply – due to less precipitation than normal last winter, and more demand for water now.
So water restrictions have been put into place. This is a reasonable thing to do, I think all would agree. Wouldn’t we rather have water available to fight forest fires (of which, thank goodness, there are less and less across the province now) than to power wash our driveways? According to these restrictions, because my address is an odd-numbered one, I can water my postage stamp of a back lawn once a week, on Thursdays, only between 4 am and 9 am. Those with even-numbered addresses can do the same only on Mondays. People are being encouraged to shower less and for shorter amounts of time, as well as to not flush the toilet every time. We are being reminded to turn off the tap while brushing teeth or washing dishes. Car washing is most definitely frowned upon, as is running the dishwasher or washing machine with less than a full load.
Also, it is being suggested that all Metro Vancouver residents keep their eyes open for violations of the water restrictions and report these to the engineering departments of their specific cities. Yeah, Big Brother is alive and well – or is that maybe the Nazis? (I’m a little unclear on the specifics, as I’m on summer vacation and I’ve turned off large parts of my brains for the duration.) And people are doing this quite a lot, it seems. Many, many warnings and tickets are being handed out to residents and businesses who are flouting the rules.
PG himself, having been woken up at 6 am by the automatic lawn sprinklers outside his apartment building, made a complaint when he realized that the sprinklers were running three times a week instead of the mandated once, as well as far longer than necessary to adequately water the lawn. He reported that, that very day, there was a warning notice from the city taped to the front door of the building, and the city contacted the company that manages the building, who then sent someone out to turn off said sprinkler system (the controls are located in the underground parking garage right near where he parks his car, so he said he was easily able to tell that this had been done). Of course, PG, being PG, was quite disgusted that it took a phone call from him to right this wrong: every other resident of the building had to have been aware of those sprinklers running so long and so often, so why was it up to him to make the call? And where was the manager of the building anyway? He doesn’t even live in the building, for one thing, and he is obviously completely incompetent at his job! (But that’s a story for a different day!)
Okay. So the tattle-tale system works. But what should I do when I wake up one morning, look outside at the driveway that I share with the other two families of my building, and see that my next-door neighbour has washed his behemoth of an SUV earlier that day? There’s a huge wet puddle on the asphalt as evidence. It’s pretty obvious. But I also know that this clown generally washes his vehicle at 6 or so in the morning, before he goes to work. I’ve seen this with my very own eyes. I think it’s odd, but then, this is the same guy who clips his nails in the backyard with unnerving regularity, also very early in the mornings.
Well, I’m certainly not planning to talk to the guy, that’s for sure. He’s clearly too weird.
My tactic is so much more sensible: I’ll just blog about it.