Bizarre Water Law
Water laws date back to the earliest human civilization. These laws were created to enhancing water management through conservation of water resources and environmental protection. Water governance can be considered as a multi-level control where state establishments from the local level up to the global level have a say about how water should be administered. The diversity of climatic conditions experienced in the state of California where some areas are characterized by deserts while others are associated with lush green farmlands has led the state to restructure and come up with suitable ways to supply water. After a five-year drought period, California experienced heavy rains that rapidly led to flooding, landslides and infrastructural damage (Miller 22). In order to mitigate the negative effects of heavy rains, the state government formulated its own laws that controlled how the residents used the available water. One law that had since caused a stur among the general public was that which required the recycling of used car wash water. This law requires all car wash locations to install systems that recycle at least 60% of the water used in running its operations per day (Gaffney 16). This ensures the conservation of water through recycling. The newly passed law also set up new limits on the amount of water that could be used on landscapes surrounding newly constructed buildings. Thus, a vast majority of institutions such as residential houses, businesses and schools were strictly required to adhere to the set amount of water usage.
By passing the Assembly bill which requires all car wash businesses to install a recycling system, the state of California has come up with a suitable way of conserving water and regulating its use. This bill is ideal in that it reduces water wastage by almost 60% through recycling (Pellican 65). Using a recycling system, the already used water undergoes several purification processes and is then used for the sole purpose of washing cars.This water management law is one of the most unusual that I have encountered. Considering the diverse environment that would require vehicles to be washed from time to time, the increase in the number of cars and the car wash stations, it is prudent that a more significant proportion of water is saved. It was therefore compulsory for car wash businessmen to put up more measures on reducing water wastage. Some of these stringent measures entailed major processes such as recycling and reusing significant percentage of the total quantity of water used (Pellican 71). The state of California has identified how to manage water use by adopting this strange law.This is a step forward in responsible water usage. To have a steady, stable supply of water, appropriate measures should be taken to keep water clean and minimize wastage. Also, the public was restricted from growing grass on specific landscapes surrounding newly constructed commercial or industrial buildings. This regulation is expected to moderate the use of water in new homes by about 20% or about 12,000 gallons a year (Miller 42). The newly ammended law requires home owners to only grow grass within a quarter of the entire courtyard. Water use on new commercial landscapes will be cut by about 35% as a consequence to those who opt to launch substantial face-lifts of outdoor areas with more than 2,500 square feet of landscaping.This is another major step towards responsible water use as it will enable people to think more critically on how to best utilize the limited open space surrounding their buildings. The lawn will continue to shrink as the idea of nice little green grass getting lots of water every day will be a thing of the past.
Gaffney, Mason. Diseconomies inherent in western water laws: a California case study. 1961.
Miller, Gordon R. “Shaping California Water Law, 1781 to 1928.” Southern California Quarterly 55.1 (1973): 9-42.
Pelican Water.”California’s Weird Water Laws.” (May 11, 2017).