Re "Drip, drip, drip," Opinion, June 18
Like Neal Pollack, I worry about running out of water in Southern California. Or at least I used to. Once I learned from the Metropolitan Water District that landscape irrigation can account for as much as 70% of the summer water use in single-family homes, I quit worrying.
It's not like we are in danger of running out of the water we need for cooking, cleaning and sewage. We are only running out of the water we use to turn a Mediterranean climate into a tropical rain forest. We can stop that any time we have to.
Sometimes, water wastage is forced on us by our own monitors.
I am a builder of multifamily housing. For the last several years, we have been forced by code to install only single-handle shower valves that turn the cold water on full volume before any hot water can be introduced. This is supposed to be a safeguard against a person being scalded.
In the older showers, one would turn on the hot, wait a few seconds, then add enough cold to the mix for comfort. You could control the total volume.
No more. Now it is impossible to run a shower at less than full volume -- something that you might do, for example, when bathing a child.
Hundreds of thousands of apartment and condo units have been built since that code went into effect. I can't imagine the billions of gallons of water that have been wasted as a result.
Talk about unintended consequences!