How to Survive the California Drought

…and by “survive” I mean assuage your guilt by intelligently cutting back on water consumption. 

I’ve been waiting for word about the drought to trickle into my social media channels, but Facebook and the rest have been somewhat barren. Did you know San Diego is currently under mandatory water usage restrictions?

  • Stop or fix all leaks within 72 hours
  • Water before 10am or after 6pm only
  • Don’t water your yard “excessively” such that it drains past your property or down the gutter
  • Don’t use a hose to wash down sidewalks or driveways
  • Don’t let your pool overflow
  • Don’t wash your car with a running hose
  • etc.

^ Fail to heed warnings for those and receive citations from $100-1000 or even criminal prosecution.

The restrictions show an overwhelming concern for outdoor water use, and it’s true that California households use way more water on landscaping than anything else. Forget just turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, the best thing to do is find alternatives to a lush green lawn. If your front yard looks like a sad, tawny shag of neglected responsibility, consider yourself the hero of this story.

You also may or may not have seen this design for a BART poster:

From FFACoalition.org, which states, “Direct use of water by consumers makes up only 4% of water consumption in California, while meat and dairy production makes up 55%.”

Holy cow.

I took FFAC’s advice and looked at the Mother Jones article which inspired the poster and learned a 6oz glass of milk takes 30 gallons to produce… and fuck fuck fuck two slices of cheese = 50 fucking gallons of precious water aaaaaaaah I hate myself. Like, 25 minutes ago I went to the fridge and just ate two slices of cheese right out of the package.

Go read the article right now so you can also hate yourself and we can commiserate. You’re not going to like the one about butter.

From depressing infographic on MotherJones.com

From depressing infographic on MotherJones.com

Don’t think you can get away with switching to almond milk, either.

water-it-takes-produce-almond-milk-california-drought

From MotherJones.com

What about beer? Beer never hurt anyone. 

If you want to trust NPR’s numbers (though they seem low, breweries around the world have been striving to reduce beer’s water footprint since at least 2011) a 1:4 beer-to-water ratio means I don’t feel like I’m destroying the planet. 

beer

Using the MotherJones.com impractical standard measuring unit of 6oz, a stupidly small glass of beer will use about 1/5 of a gallon of water. 

Again, with the NPR ratios and the Mother Jones serving sizes, 6oz of hard liquor costs ya the guilt of almost 2 gallons. Still way less than cheese.

Oh god why didn't I just use apple juice for this photo shoot

Oh god why didn’t I just use apple juice for this photo shoot it is Tuesday and I am going to get nothing done

Therefore, to save the world, quit dairy and drink beer.

dairy-drought-takes-a-lot-of-water-to-make-happy-cow

Get drunk for the drought!

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