There has been too much finger-pointing, but if we’re going to target the biggest water users, everyone should be on the firing line – not just suburbanites with lush lawns or farmers with thirsty crops, but also industrial plants and commercial businesses that guzzle water.
Unfortunately, we rarely know who the biggest water users are. Blame a huge loophole in California’s public records law that allows water agencies to decide whether disclosing how much specific customers use is in the “public interest.”
Usually, agencies opt for secrecy. But surely, it’s in the public interest now that we’re in the middle of a record drought. Wouldn’t it encourage conservation if Californians knew who the biggest users are, and whether they’re cutting back? Wouldn’t it let us judge whether the water-saving burden is being spread fairly?