|welcome to Cambria, California|
If you've never been there, you should know Cambria is a cool place. Small and quaint, with a weekly farmer's market year-round that most of us can only dream of. But the California drought has hit Cambria hard. The city is running out of water.
Our friends live water-rationed--if they go over their monthly allotment, it's a 500% charge. It's illegal to use potable water outside, so pretty much everyone pays a watering service to come by once a week and water their yards with semi-treated sewage water. (Or you can make your way to the water facility and pick up the sewer water yourself.) According to our friends, you can't build in Cambria unless you 'own' a water meter, meaning you already own a home built prior to 2001. To build, you would need to take the water meter from your existing home and transfer it to the new one, which, of course, renders your old home waterless. (And worthless.)
Is Cambria a snap-shot of our future? Maybe. Our friends contend the drought can't last forever, but global warming seems here to stay. I try to picture what it will be like for my daughter forty years from now, but it's not easy. Growing up, forty years ago, I could have never imagined personal computers or internet. My childhood friends would have viewed smartphones like Star Trek communicators. Our phones, after all, were attached to our parents' walls and water ... it was just something you played in, as it burst from the sprinklers on a warm summer afternoon.