Finally, an opportunity to feel virtuous! I sat through the City Council’s discussion of the proposed water conservation ordinance on Tuesday night, feeling nervous about water usage in my single family home. I’ve had low-flow toilets and shower heads in place since 2006, but have not otherwise worried much about water usage.

When I got home I checked my water billing for the past two years, and found that my household is consistently well below the threshold that would require a 20% cutback. This includes the summer months when all the teenagers are home and taking showers after work and beach, doing laundry, and when my front yard planting gets some supplemental watering.

My conclusion: households with more than five or six people, who do laundry at home, might be at risk of exceeding the threshold. One caveat: landscape watering is a thing of the past.

Fortunately, the new ordinance provides for financial help and free expert advice so we can change the plants in our lawns and gardens to those that will survive and thrive, watered by the night fog and morning dew of our coastal environment.

Before you panic, check your water bill online. It clearly shows your HCF (water usage measure) per two-month billing cycle. If it is under 22, you’re in the clear.

Abby Arnold

Santa Monica

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