Now we move onto another bill at the Governor-Actor’s desk, AB 2270 which ought to be called the Evil Water Softener Act.

“Ummm, Gaura, water softeners aren’t evil”.

Well that’s true but apparently the Legislature thinks otherwise.

To summarize. The state is freaking out about the drought. Well, duh, 30 bazillion lawns take up a lot of water. Prohibiting ordinances that require lawns would be more helpful… a person could choose to have a lawn, but if they would rather have a garden (which can be drip irrigated) or a xeriscape then they could. Presently there are a lot of ordinances that prohibit even xeriscape– that’s dumb!!

Instead the State is trying a different tack– recycling water. Well that’s all fine and good. Grey water is great for non-edible landscaping and I don’t have a problem with its voluntary use for landscaping. Recycling water is somewhat different– waste water– yes, that means toilet water too– is “purified” and then sent back to the tap.

If that fact doesn’t send you to the porcelain throne I don’t know what will.

One of the problems inherent in recycled water is salinity. Now most salinity is natural, particularly in a state with a big coastline bordering the largest ocean in the world. Got news for ya, Sacto– salt can travel a certain extent inland. It’s actually estimated that 90 percent of the salinity of CA water is natural. (The people near the Salton Sea can tell you all about that)

Feeling impotent in the face of Mother Nature, or because they are unable to resist regulation, the legislature turns to a minority reason for salinity. Water softeners. If you own one, you know that they do require salt. No argument. However when the alternate choice is the ability to muck up a dishwasher so completely that it may never work right again, that seems like a small price to pay. Seriously hard water is no joke.

Anyways this bill would seem to empower municipalities that recycle water (and all will be required to) to regulate or prohibit water softeners. Okay, you want to mandate messed up dishwashers and the use of vast amounts of vinegar to have even a chance at clean dishes? Are they freaking serious? Unfortunately they are.