May 11, 2015
Big restrictions on water use in California supposedly because of the drought are hitting working class communities the hardest. As it is, average household water bills have more than doubled over the last decade – even though average household water consumption is already much lower because of previous cuts and conservation efforts.
Now the drought is being used as a pretext to tack on even more surcharges. People can take shorter showers, take less time to brush their teeth, or do less laundry – and their bills are still going up.
There has also been a big propaganda assault on people’s lawns. Ending the watering won’t just kill lawns, it will also kill neighborhood trees, which depend on the water run-off from the lawns. And that means hotter, more miserable summers. Grass traps dust, smoke particles and carbon dioxide. It cools temperatures and becomes a sort of air conditioner while saving energy. It even absorbs noise. And if trees, which are already stressed by the drought, are left to die, there goes the much needed shade.
And for what? Agribusiness uses ten times as much water as all 38 million people in the state combined! And Governor Brown has already made it clear that he will not restrict water consumption for agribusiness. This just means that all the water that working people don’t use will be consumed by agribusiness. And all the extra money that working people pay for water – supposedly because of the drought – will just be pocketed by the capitalist class.