Shame On You? Or Who?Outside Contributor
If you are landscape professional in California, you probably have had enough of the talk about the drought.
Shame on you. Or, rather, think about shame in the public eye.
Consider how much the landscape industry and your company might become one of the biggest long time users in the long run because of the drought. Water usage has become not just a resource issue, but a social issue. Currently in the LA Times reporter Steve Lopez is on a mission to investigate where the largest water users are at. And while we are taught to love our neighbor as our self that may not be the case if you are wasting water, because California has set up a site to help report water waste villains.
A great article in Gizmodo provides great background into why California doesn’t release information on what individuals are wasting the water. But faster than you can post #waterhog on Twitter, the landscape industry can be the next culprit to get in the cross hairs of social shame. For a long time California has been seen as one of the most important states to set social trends and laws that can migrate to other states. In regards to the landscape industry, two of the biggest markets in the landscape industry have now experienced industry impacting droughts – California and Texas. The impact these droughts have brought to the landscape industry are hard to ignore.
Certainly, the water issue is being contested on many fronts and at many levels besides outdoor water usage by the landscape industry. But the reality remains that even if your business is not directly impacted yet but laws and mandates, the social view of improper water usage has taken hold. Public opinion polling on the drought shows a very high percentage of the people in California consider the drought extremely serious.
The difficulty for the landscape industry is that unlike lawyers and doctors, landscape professionals aren’t required to earn continuing education units every year. Certainly there are great efforts being made by trade associations like the Irrigation Association and California Landscape Contractors association to bring certification programs to the industry.
Education. Certification. Best practices. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”