Showing posts with the label #Drought

The County of Santa Clara discourages artificial turf even in drought.

The County of Santa Clara discourages artificial turf , even in drought, explaining:     " While artificial turf can save water and fertilizer,  it is generally not a good sustainable alternative because  it does not support the ecosystem.  It does not work in harmony with nature.  It is a dead material.  It does not support soil health,  it is not recyclable,  it does not breakdown,  it does not provide habitat and  it can even get hot enough to cause burns." 

Even at highest stage of water conservation, San Jose Water considers watering playing fields reasonable use of water.

1700+ Los Gatos children currently get to passively and actively recreate on nature for two recess periods per schoolday on LGUSD's elementary schools play fields.  More than half these children may be about to lose this privilege . San Jose Water's latest Water Shortage Contingency Plan (a document titled "Schedule No. 14.1 Water Shortage Contingency Plan with Staged Mandatory Reductions and Drought Surcharges") has 5 stages of water conservation that include mandatory restrictions regarding water use. Failure to comply with the restrictions of a given stage is deemed a wasteful and unreasonable use of water. The 5 stages are: Conservation and outreach Water reduction needed Severe water reduction (<--- This is where Los Gatos is as of 12/5/21.) Critical water reduction Emergency water reduction Even at the highest stage of water conservation, "Emergency water reduction" (stage 5), when San Jose Water prohibits water or irrigation of lawn, landscap

Even in drought, Santa Clara Valley Water District does NOT promote installing artificial turf.

Image from Think installing plastic grass constitutes doing your part to respond to climate change?  Think again.   Trace that messaging back to its source.  The source is NOT  Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD).  The source is most likely an entity that profits  when you buy an artificial turf system... probably someone in the petroleum industry, plastics  industry , chemical  industry  or artificial turf industry.   The companies polluting the planet have spent millions to make you think carpooling and recycling will save us . These companies have also spent millions to make you think installing plastic grass will save us. If you have fallen under the spell of those that make money when you buy plastic grass, it's time to wake up.  Plastic grass is NOT an environmentally-responsible way to deal with drought . Our water district, SCVWD, like other districts throughout the state: promotes water conservation does NOT promote artificial turf SCVWD explains

LGUSD, provide equitable access to nature for Los Gatos elementary school students.

To conserve water costs, should we rob kids of equitable access to nature?   Certainly given increasingly-dense urban housing in Los Gatos, not every child's family is afforded their own private land from which to benefit from daily exposure to nature.   As a community working together to share natural resources, is THE place to severely restrict water the shared field? A field that may serve as the only regular daily exposure to nature that hundreds of our kids in dense, urban developments get? No. This is wrong. This constitutes an equity issue. LGUSD Equity Action Team and the many other Los Gatos community members that value equity, it's time to be an upstander for those children with less privilege. A tweet from LGUSD's superintendent about the district's commitment to equity. Elementary school play fields and public parks are absolutely the outdoor green spaces that make sense to judiciously water. In fact, this could very well be part of the rationale San Jos

But what about the drought?? What about water expenses??

The Heat Island Effect. Source: Dustin Phillips on Flickr. Image featured in  "No More Pavement! The Problem of Impervious Surfaces" by Columbia Climate School Indeed one motive often cited for artificial turf usage is water conservation.  T he LGUSD slides from the 11/8/21 Town Hall meeting highlighted water conservation as a prime justification for covering school grounds with giant sheets of plastic. However, using water conservation to justify plastic grass is an argument sorely lacking in perspective. And it contributes to the false dichotomy that is this narrow set of district options being discussed. To conserve water, should we entirely sacrifice: two of the few remaining swaths of easily-accessible, publicly available living landscapes in our increasingly urbanized downtown?   the exposure to nature they provide 1000+ Los Gatos children twice every schoolday? the cooling they provide to counter the heat-island effect of our urban environment?  the biodiversity t