Playing plant favourites

Water restrictions have transformed life here in Melbourne. Unfinished glasses of water are collected in bowls. Shower run-off is collected in buckets. And thanks to what are arbitrary and annoying restrictions, plants in our garden are watered by hand four times a week (twice on Saturday and twice on Tuesday between the hours of 6am-8am and 8pm-10pm, respectively).

Now ridiculous policy aside, as I stood there at 6am yesterday with my trigger hose, it was pretty clear that all plants were not equal in my eyes. There are those plants that are clearly suffering and droopy. They get a good 30 seconds. There are those plants standing strong. They get a tocken amount of water. Then there are those I never really have liked. For instance, I hate bees in the garden, so those plants with bee attracting flowers, well, let’s say are not looking too good. I look at the smugly as I water their more favoured neighbours. “You ain’t getting any of this good stuff. Not from the guy with his finger on the trigger. You’ll have to wait for other members of the household, pink stuff!” Suffice it to say, the other members of the household are having trouble understanding why some are doing well and others are not. I guess the truth will be out now.

Will I be fired from my duties as a water sprinkler? I must admit that I often act like one out there. I sweep the spray across 5 plants slowly and then with a “chik chik chik” fly quickly back. All of us out there (me and the bees) are greatly amused by this.

No, I don’t think I will be fired. I’ll probably be subject to more monitoring, just like the children. But to my mind I really can’t see why we can’t just have a quick 30 second burst of the sprinkler system 4 times a week. Surely, it is the same water but for a fraction of the human toll. For those policy-makers with blanket restrictions in the name of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness,’ think about the flowers (and the bees, bwah ha ha)!

7 thoughts on “Playing plant favourites”

  1. I actually find I water *more* since the restrictions were put in place.

    now there is a scheduled time, my wife can ‘remind’ me that it needs to be done, where before there wasn’t that rigor.

    my plants, in general, are lasting, but there is a dustbowl where my grass used to be.

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  2. One of the key aspects of good regulation is that it be simple to understand and regulate. If it’s not perfect in terms of limiting water use, that must be compared with the efficiencies of making something easy to understand.

    What would be a better system, that was as easy to implement?

    (Excluding simply bumping the price up massively, which is strongly supported by bureaucrats but politically unacceptable).

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  3. I don’t really understand what your plant favouritism critique is. Before the restrictions, you (or your automatic sprinkler) were watering plants you hate; now, you aren’t. Why is this a bad outcome?

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  4. But it isn’t easier. See wilful’s comment, above. The only real criticism you’ve made of Stage Three is that it’s capricious for Orthodox Jews. Meh. And, as I commented last time, there’s a lot of rationality about the hours (if not the days) when watering is permitted.

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  5. Of course it is easier. Right now people have to learn arbitrary rules and someone has to police them. If you just read the meter, then you can judge whether someone has used too much water or not. Plain and simple. And you have to have the reader read anyway in order to be paid.

    All this and people get to choose. Also, it will be fairer on those without gardens who currently actually get a lower water allocation.

    Also, why shouldn’t I be able to water at 5am today when I have to get the kids ready for school during the 6am-8am timeslot? It is arbitrary, unfair and ridiculous and the result of a complete lack of imagination in what policies can be ‘sold.’ We should expect better.

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