Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Using Too Much Water Now a Political Liability

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Meanwhile, at the Swearengin household...
  • Meanwhile, at the Swearengin household...
Politicians playing the Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Do game goes back to the toga and sandal era (which, if you're Rob Ford, was last Thursday night). 

But, in these dry times of ours, an new milieu has bubbled up in which our leaders can be accused of profligacy: water use.  

A Center for Investigative Reporting analysis pinned down which of our leaders are leaving the tap running while brushing their teeth — and then some. In 2013, the report found, nine state officials poured through 1,100 gallons of water a day or more (the average single-family California household uses 361). A Riverside City Council member named Mike Soubirous voted for his constituents to use less water — but, on his sprawling scrap of land, he topped the charts at some 3,500 gallons a day. 

Water is, perhaps, the ur-political issue here in California. So, not surprisingly, politicians named on the water wasters' list were quickly upbraided by their political foes

Skelton is the campaign manager for San Francisco's Betty Yee, the Democratic candidate for state Controller set to cross swords with Swearengin in the forthcoming election. We're not sure how much water Yee is going through these days, but Swearengin was dinged using at least twice the state average. 

In Fresno, where Swearengin serves as mayor, residents are permitted to water their lawns twice a week and not at all in winter. 

It remains to be seen if this issue resonates with voters. Or if any issue resonates in the race for controller, an office in which you are required to do this.

Not very watery. 

  • Pin It

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"