Water police training workshop

May 2, 2012

By Katy Grimes

As if fear, doom and gloom aren’t enough for government officials, they’ve turned to nosy neighbors for help in fulfilling extremist agendas.

The City of Sacramento sent out a notice today encouraging residents to attend a water conservation training session. It seems innocuous enough, and maybe even a good idea.

Some of my city neighbors don’t monitor their sprinkler systems very well. They run them until the gutters flow like the Sacramento River, and water sprays sidewalks, and cars. My dog loves it, but city water officials don’t.

However, deeper into the notice, neighbors are encouraged to educate and even subtly spy on neighbors. “Learn about the City’s free water conservation services, cool new ways to save water and how to help your neighbor’s save water by becoming a Water Conservation Ambassador,” the notice says.

Apparently by attending a water conservation workshop, attendees can be certified “City of Sacramento Water Conservation Ambassadors.” Does a badge come with the title?

“Water Conservation Ambassadors will help spread the word about water conservation and protection of our water sources,” the city’s website states. “Ambassadors will help educate neighbors, friends, family and community organizations about conservation through attending community events, conducting knock and talks, and presenting at community meetings!”

Are neighbors being encouraged to educate, or re-educate? This is a recurring theme with the City of Sacramento.

Residents who water the lawn on the wrong day, use the fireplace without approval from the county, have fat children, drive a gas guzzler, ride a bicycle without a helmet, eat shark fin soup, or violate the Babysitter’s Bill of Rights, are all subjected to steep fines, or even arrest.

In the Soviet Union, citizens were encouraged to rat out neighbors for hiding food or other necessary goods. In Nazi Germany, people were encouraged to rat out neighbors for protecting or hiding Jews.

In the U.S., the government has steadily increased the use of this tactic and encourages citizens to rat out neighbors for operating a business without a permit, growing anything illegally, and selling anything illegally, among other offenses. The entrepreneurial spirit has been quashed by the government.

And now, cities are encouraging citizens to turn on one another and call the water police for overwatering a lawn… and the water police are apparently responding. What’s next – will my neighbors be encouraged to turn me in for using plastic bags, driving a big car, or for giving illegal vegetables from my garden to unsuspecting neighbors?

I have received sneers from a few neighbors over the U.S. Navy flag flying from my house, and am waiting to be told to remove it. Offending anyone today is now a punishable offense. But I’ll bet that my neighbor with the peace sign front door wreath doesn’t offend anyone… or the other neighbor who hangs a flag upside down on July 4th.

There already are weirdos in my neighborhood who fish through our recycle bins to make sure that we are not putting garbage in them. What do they do when they find a neighbor who throws trash into the recycle bin? I gasp at the thought.

But there is a bright side to the workshop notice; for neighbors who have already been ratted out by other neighbors and received a fine for violating the City’s Watering Ordinance, attending these workshops earns one a fine waiver for the second notice of violation.

Who says the government doesn’t have a heart?

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