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I’m not some fancy Sheikh, so I don’t live in the desert. I live in scenic Fredericksburg, Va and we got over four feet of rain last year, and about 40 feet of rain over the last ten years. I just bought a new house, and all of the appliances and fixtures were high efficiency. There are low-flow toilets, a high efficiency washer, and even high efficiency shower heads. The only problem is none of this crap works.

I had to replace the showerheads because they weren’t getting the soap out of my hair, and since I’m not Dutch, I have no desire to feel like I’m getting pissed on. The low-flow toilets require a minimum of two flushes for every dump, and I have to wonder if they’re not actually using more water than a standard toilet. The washer, well, in a word, it just sucks.

High efficiency washers don’t use enough water to clean themselves, so you have to use a toxic chemical pellet every month to break down the soap residue. If you skip using that pellet for about five months like I did, your washer starts to smell like a combination of mildew and crap. Not exactly two smells you want on your clothes.

Why are we trying to save water, anyway? Isn’t it renewable? It evaporates, condenses and precipitates. Instead of saving it by using smaller amounts, how about we focus on keeping toxic stuff out of it. Water isn’t being destroyed by overuse. It’s being destroyed by contamination.

And, it’s not just standard pollution like fertilizers and industrial run-off. When Philadelphia checked their water, they found 56 pharmaceuticals or pharmaceutical-byproducts in it. These medicines have been specifically crafted to work on the human body in small doses. We already know they’re causing bizarre mutations in fish. It’s not unreasonable to assume it will do the same to us.

As usual, our government has focused on the wrong solution for the wrong problem.