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Ear to the Ground

Brown Is the New Green in Trendy Los Angeles

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Posted on Aug 26, 2009
Flickr / Nick Perla

It takes a lot of someone else’s water to keep L.A.’s palm trees growing and its Jacuzzis bubbling, but Angelenos are defying their moochy reputation and conserving like nobody’s business. The city’s mayor thanked his citizens for their double-digit cuts in water and power consumption last month—in the thick of summer no less. 

Update: Hold the gushing, this fairy tale has a couple of warts. First of all, the summer has been relatively cool, which may explain the drop in power consumption. The city’s water conservation could be attributed to a rule that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa backed that limits sprinkler use. Only problem is the taps are still running at the mayor’s official residence, in violation of said restrictions. All humbugging aside, good for L.A. And the mayor can run his sprinklers all he wants as long as he keeps getting everyone else to conserve with such success.  —PS

AP via San Jose Mercury-News:

The city Department of Water and Power, which has 680,000 water customers and 1.4 million electric customers, says single-family homes cut water use nearly 21 percent, businesses cut usage nearly 22 percent and government properties reduced usage more than 34 percent.

Huge reductions in electricity usage are also being reported. The DWP saved a record 318 gigawatt-hours for the fiscal year ending June 30, an amount that equals removal of 53,000 households from the grid and avoids 178,700 metric tons of greenhouses gases.

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By SteveL, August 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Here are some things never discussed in print.  We are growing rice in California,
a crop you have to flood the fields to grow, and can be grown elsewhere in the
country.  We also grow cotton in California, requiring huge amounts of water, and
can be grown elsewhere.  The cotton is here as a remnant of the civil war when
cotton growers went west to escape the ravages of war.  Why are these crops still
here?

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