Last Thursday in my local newspaper The Chico Enterprise-Record there was an editorial about saving water through bureaucracy: Editorial: Toilet police don’t want job. It was was of those “only in California” type things about a new law with good intentions, but eye rolling implementation that only policy wonks could dream up.
I agreed with the complaint about bureaucracy part, but the editorial came off as saying water use and water conservation wasn’t all that important an issue, and that gave me cause to introduce the PDO to local readers as well as something I learned about toilets in Australia when I visited there, adopting for my home and office, and wrote about in A green product worth recommending. Here’s my letter to the editor, where I crammed as much into the 250 word limit as I could, and following that, the reaction from the editor.
Chico Enterprise-Record Posted: 01/11/2014 09:52:52 PM PST
I read your Thursday editorial on the “toilet police” with amusement, but also with concern. Saving water is an important issue, especially since the Pacific Decadal Oscillation flipped to cool phase in 2008. We are now seeing effects manifested as cooler, drier, winters, with little rainfall; yes, drought.
Visiting Australia in 2010 (where low rainfall is much like California), I noticed that all toilets were “dual flush” with two buttons; number 1 and number 2. Number 1 uses 50 percent less. Seeing drought coming here, I’ve since retrofitted my home and office toilets to dual flush. It’s easy to do, and under $25 at any home improvement store.
The value to dual flush toilets is not only saving water, but also saving on your water bill. Since California Water Service Company seems hell bent on raising rates to cover pensions (because we’ve used less water, providing lower revenue), here’s your chance for payback by reducing water consumption even more.
Since California greens routinely challenge more reservoirs, and state government planned poorly to meet growth, this next drought will likely be harder than the big one in the 1970s, the last time the Pacific Decadal Oscillation was in cool phase for an extended period. In 1977, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation switched to a warm phase, and the drought eased, but 1985 to 1991 saw another drought.
Here’s your chance to get ahead of the bureaucrats before the “toilet police” come knocking. Meanwhile, pray for El Niño in fall 2014.
— Anthony Watts, Chico
Here’s the reaction from the editor – he made it his Sunday column.
For those of you that want a dual flush toilet retrofit, here is what they look like.
The kit is pretty simple, and assembles without any need for tools. Pictorial instructions in English and Spanish are provided.
Price? Less than $20, and at that price it will pay for itself in a few months, depending on usage. This system is guaranteed for five years, so I’m pretty sure I’ll not only get my investment back, but a significant return on it. Plus, my kids like it and they were fascinated watching dad replace this thing and now having a pushbutton 1/2 instead of a handle.
Want one? Available here at Amazon Get it, highly recommended.
Update: For those that like the traditional handle rather than the button, see this model.
And finally here’s everything you ever wanted to know about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation: http://wattsupwiththat.com/tag/pacific-decadal-oscillation/
And the WUWT reference page for that and other oceanic oscillations:
Hopefully, per this ensemble NINO 3.4 SST Anomalies Forecast, we will be out of La Niña soon: