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Word to the Water-Wise 

In the drought we need to go on a water budget

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Our state is drying up. We are currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in California's history. Everywhere I go, there are street signs reminding people not to waste water. There are programs to assist residents with replacing lawns with drought-resistant plants. There are daily newspaper articles and news clips on TV showing the effects of the drought in many areas.

The drought is likely to inflict $2.2 billion in losses on the agricultural industry, according to a July study from the UC Davis. We will absorb the loss of this not only in our state economy but in the cost of our groceries.

Yet some people, who are aware of our current situation, seem to act with a sense of entitlement—washing cars that aren't visibly dirty, daily watering of lawns to keep them green, etc. There seems to be an attitude among some that if you can pay for it, it's yours to use. Unfortunately, rain does not come simply because you pad your water bill.

The reality is that we need to treat water as we do money—money on a budget. People would do well to develop a wider worldview in thinking about our water situation. The water we have is the water budget allotted to all of us in the state. We need to spend it carefully. The water you waste washing your car could be the water your neighbors need to wash their dishes. Yes, we all have water coming out of our taps when we turn them on, but for how long?

Budget your water now. You won't regret it later.

Bianca May is a graduate of Sonoma State University and a self-described feather-ruffler living in Rohnert Park.

Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write

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