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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  1. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 2 May, 2012, 15:25

    “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”

    Americans are no different, Katy. Humans are sheep. They follow and do what they’re told. I recall a couple years back when we had water rationing here. I watered for about 10 minutes on one of the off days and a guy from the water department knocked on the door. He said he got a report that I was watering on an off-day. I asked “Who told you that?” He said it was a confidential source. An electric shiver went down my spine. All the sudden I visualized the guy with a brown shirt and a red star on his lapel. There is no doubt that if I were a jew in Berlin in 1941 and I had that same neighbor I’d be escorted from my home never to be seen or heard from again. Give a man some power – even a little power – and he’s destined to use it against you sooner or later.

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  2. David in Irvine
    David in Irvine 2 May, 2012, 17:57

    If people are wasting water or using too much of it, it only means the price of water is too low! Privatize water delivery!

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  3. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 2 May, 2012, 18:57

    Be careful what you wish for, David. Go visit Germany in the month of August and climb aboard one of their city busses during rush hour. That’s what high water prices will get you! 😀

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  4. queeg
    queeg 3 May, 2012, 07:40

    Smart water meter in your future….believe it dummies!!!

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  5. Earnie
    Earnie 3 May, 2012, 08:10

    The CARB has been doing this kind of stuff for nearly 20 yrs now. It was called “Turn in a Smoking Vehicle” program. It encouraged co-workers and citizens to turn in smoking vehicles, they would then be contacted and hooked up with the states ‘gross polluting’ vehicle program.
    In an office that I worked in, someone in management put bunches of these pads of complaint forms all over the place and most of them in the cafeteria area.
    I remember the water conservation programs in the mid ’70’s and even put a brick in the toilet resevoir and washers in my faucets.

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  6. Claire Voyance
    Claire Voyance 3 May, 2012, 12:23

    My career will skyrocket if I can put “Water Goon” on my resume!

    Reply this comment
  7. Bob
    Bob 5 May, 2012, 22:41

    You are all East Germans now.

    “I have received sneers from a few neighbors over the U.S. Navy flag flying from my house”

    Just fly a Moa Zedong flag from your house and you’ll do just fine. You’ll be the most popular person on the block.

    Here’s a nice one for you


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