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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Pasadena Gets Serious About Water Conservation for the 2nd Time in Two Weeks

Pasadena Gets Serious About Water Conservation for the 2nd Time in Two Weeks

by Pasadena Independent
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-Courtesy Photo

-Courtesy Photo

By Nick Kipley

While researching info on Pasadena’s new Tier 2 Water Emergency Conservation Plan, which was discussed during a public forum at Pasadena City Hall on Monday night, the Independent was reminded of the many citizens who spoke up during the public comment portion of the meeting on ways that “public shaming” could be initiated in the name of conserving valuable resources.

In passing, a comment was also overheard about how one citizen re-uses plastic water bottles by filling them up with tap water.

Which – depending upon the brand of bottle you’re filling up – could actually be a strategy to acquire the same quality of water you just drank to begin with. Walmart came under fire recently by the Sacramento Bee when it was revealed that the corporation was bottling the state capital’s water and selling it off as the company’s generic brand.

For the second time in two weeks, it was brought up by a faction of citizens that Pasadena should shut off water to its public landscaping as a statement. By the city letting its turf “brown,” many who spoke of their water conservation claimed that they would be setting a positive example for the region, and would help facilitate a paradigm shift in which lush green lawns are viewed not as a right but an ecological luxury item.

The debate from the “pro-brown” side seemed to suggest that with enough community ostracization, and with the city leading by example, those with the biggest, greenest lawns might suddenly and fervently find themselves taking up the cause for native-plant landscaping.

Which very well might work, were those with the biggest, lushest lawns most likely not the same group of people who are correlatively apt to afford the biggest, most powerful attorneys.

Because, theoretically, all it takes is one of these attorneys to turn their withering gaze upon a line or two from a mass email sent by a community organization so that a sentence like, “well I just think that we should all do our part equally,” is instantly transformed from a wholly reasonable notion given the drought circumstances and everything into a “barbaric instance of cyber-bullying resulting in symptoms of post-traumatic stress and undue anxiety on behalf of my client.”

Were the above situation to happen, Pasadena could theoretically become a city divided along irrigation lines.

In certain theoretical pockets of town, you’d have the gigantic, rolling lawns of the perpetually bullied. And all the rest would become a scrim of dusty sagebrush lots inhabited by the kinds of people who shower with a washcloth and a bucket so that afterwards they can pour the rest of the water on their one pathetic tomato plant.

Stay tuned for that whole story, possibly in November, when Pasadena’s will be enacting Level III of its emergency water conservation plan. Which somehow looped back around to bottled water.

This may be unrelated, but a little over a year ago, Beverly Hills-based company 90H20 released an eponymous bottle of water, “master crafted” by the world’s only water sommelier, Martin Riese.

According to their website, the water is “sourced” in Northern California – as is all water in SoCal, so that’s not saying much – and “It pairs perfectly with fine foods, fine wines, Scotch and other fine spirits. And its exquisite design captures the classic elegance and glimmering vitality of Beverly Hills, California.”

The Luxury Collection Diamond Edition Bottle sells for $100,000 on 90H20’s website. If you purchase one of the nine bottles, you get a private “tasting” session with Riese himself. The bottle comes encrusted with so many jewels that it looks like something only an eccentric, steamship-building relative of Queen Victoria’s should own.

Even though it’s just water, and you can afford it, and you are enjoying the water on your property that you worked hard for, there still might be someone out there who will try to make you feel ashamed for it.

But that’s only because when it comes to things like there not being enough water, the needs of the boring, unspecial “many” usually tend to tip the scale against that special group of the truly hard-working “few.” And this goes for not only Pasadena but the entirety of California – we all must change to accommodate what will become a permanent shift in perception.

And with regard to that reality, money only goes so far before, as the expression goes, “you just gotta go with the flow.”

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