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It rained here yesterday. Way less than we needed, but enough to keep my vegetables and flowers happy for several days. Just now I went out into the front yard to put out the garbage cans for tomorrow morning’s pickup, and what did I discover? My next-door neighbor’s sprinklers going full-tilt boogie under the shadow of darkness!

Now these neighbors are very sweet people (other than their yappy little dog, that is), and I’m sure our rather “rugged” front yard is a never-ending source of embarrassment for them. But their front (and back) yard is always that deep, rich green that shouts “we don’t worry about water restrictions at all” and by all rights should be an absolute magnet for the water police.

As the drought deepens in California and the State encourages people to “rat out” their offending neighborhood water-wasters, I wonder what will happen to relationships between neighbors. Is a deep green lawn really worth offending your thrifty neighbors who follow the rules? And what will happen when the water-conserving neighbor finally has enough of her water-overusing neighbor? Will there be city police reports, or merely visits from the water police?

Some of us have been cutting back on our water usage for several years now, and our landscaping shows that. I have planted less and less, because water is at a premium and I’m trying to keep it under control. Our city water regulations allow watering twice weekly after 7:00 p.m., which is not only inconvenient, it fosters fungus and other diseases in our gardens. But there are many who either didn’t get the memo regarding limiting their water usage, or they simply don’t care. Either way, our community loses.

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