The landlord’s note taped to my apartment door brought news that made my stomach sink.
But before the mayor or City Council members start rubbing my nose in my water bill, here’s a huge caveat: It’s not necessarily my water consumption that’s up. I live in an apartment complex with seven other units. I’ve been conserving water. And I don’t even have a water bill for them to rub my nose in.
So maybe my consumption is up. But maybe someone else has a leaky toilet or faucet. Or started taking longer showers. Or decided to wash their car in the alley.
This is the reality for me and hundreds of thousands of San Diego residents in apartments and condos that lack individual water meters. We pay a monthly power bill, so we know how much electricity we use. But we don’t pay a water bill. Just rent. (Or, for those living in condos, it’s a mortgage and HOA fees, but not a city water bill.)
I’ve been motivated to conserve, lest I be called a hypocrite. So I’ve put a bucket under my shower when the water warms up and use that to irrigate my few plants. And I’ve only washed full loads of dishes.