Friday, April 6, 2007


According to some recent research, it looks like New Mexico is going to become a huge desert. If you believe. If you don't know that vast chunks of it already is a huge desert. Richard Seager of Columbia University Earth Observatory says we're likely to see a new kind of drought. We'll have a climate that is dry all the time. And we probably won't think very kindly of it. That sign may not be so funny after all.
Of course, New Mexico has been plagued by droughts of varying severity going back to at least the 1930s. That was the drought that created the word "Okies" for migrant Oklahomans and Steinbeck's book The Grapes Of Wrath.
It would be difficult to believe that anyone living here now is not aware of our on going problems concerning our water supply. We regularly have to restrict water usage in the summer, use alternate sprinkling days, have special hours of use that help save water. We even have people who are referred to as the "Water Police". They can give you a ticket if you waste water while sprinkling your lawn. Albuquerque and some other cities here will even pay you to get rid of your lawn and replace it with rocks.
But instead of our Governator Bill Richardson and State Senators like William Payne and Tim Jennings concerning themselves with the fact that we may not have any water to drink, they seem to be more concerned about getting caught by speeding (and red light running) cameras.
Apparently these guardians of the public welfare are unfamiliar with certain water saving devices that have been in use in Europe for decades. And they seem to work well. And they are available in the US. And they are made in the US. And their cost is not that much more than a standard item.
And they are called Dual Flush Toilets.
Sound funny? It shouldn't if you use the men's restrooms at your favorite casinos. The urinals are clearly marked. They dispense only ONE gallon of water per flush. The commodes use TWO. The home use toilets are easy to use. Two buttons. Pick the one you need.
All of us are aware that there are certain bodily wastes that go away with only one gallon. More serious stuff takes two. But the toilets in your home and many, many office buildings seem to feel that you need two gallons for anything. Ladies may, men don't. Pretty obvious we are wasting our precious water. Like it's going out of style.
Dual flush toilets should have entered the buildings codes, as mandatory, many years ago. All new construction needs to have these water savers. There is no excuse, other than laziness on the part of the people we elect to office, that we are forced to waste our precious water.
I'd sure like to hear from some of our representatives about this.

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