Admittedly, the restrictions don't actually forbid you to wash your car. They limit you to using a hand-held bucket (does it count if you put it down on the driveway?) or hand-held hose "for quick rinses". But they are pretty much "if you don't mind" rules at this stage anyway, with holes large enough to lose whole buckets of water through (hand-held or otherwise). For example, we are now limited to watering our lawn twice a week, but this only applies to sprinkler systems. You can still use a hose as much as you like, presumably on the assumption that you will get bored of standing there holding it very quickly. And besides, everything you read about good watering technique says it's better to water thoroughly just once a week. Our garden would think Christmas had come early if it got watered every three days!
So hopefully these regulations will make a few people think, anyway. Goodness knows it's needed. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than three quarters of Texas is suffering from "exceptional" drought - the most severe stage.
|Data from Office of Texas State Climatologist. We are in DFW, just right of top centre.|
Right now, nowhere very much. A recent news article lists Fort Worth as one of the top 10 cities likely to be suffering water shortages in the near future. The water district has gone so far as to sue Oklahoma to try and force it to sell Texas some water - a lawsuit that has so far been denied. Even if it wins, it is still not clear that that would solve Fort Worth's water problems for very long - not if people continue to pour into the city.
So here's to yellow lawns and dirty cars. Before too long, we may all have to drink to that.