Hayward mayor proposes ‘work-at-home, skip-a-shower day’

Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday

HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL | Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday said she has been known to forsake a shower, but only if she plans to spend the entire day at home. The idea is just another of many for residents to conserve water during the state’s enduring drought.

“Maybe we can start a stay-at-home, work-at-home, skip-a-shower day?” Halliday joked Tuesday night as the Hayward City Council applied to own conservation plan additional cutbacks prescribed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order to reduce statewide water usage by 25 percent.

The amendments to Hayward’s existing Water Shortage Contingency Plan include a prohibition on watering lawns and ornamental landscapes during and within 48 hours since the last rainfall, an instruction to restaurants and bars to only provide water when a customer specifically asks for it, and for hotels in Hayward to notify guests of an option to not launder their towels and linens

Hayward residents, however, already do a good job of saving water. Each day, they average 52 gallons of water per resident, said Alex Ameri, director of Public Works Utilities and Environmental Services. The amount is one of the lowest in the state and Hayward’s previous conservation efforts may translate to a lower restriction than the 25 percent across-the-board reduction ordered by Brown.

Not all municipalities may be treated equally, said Ameri, after the State Water Board hands down specific instructions for Brown’s executive order in early May, Hayward may only be ordered to reduce water usage by 10 percent, said Ameri due to its successful recent history of conservation.

In addition, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is Hayward’s water provider, may also impose a 10 percent ration on usage, said Ameri. Whether or not the SFPUC orders mandatory rationing rules could occur in July and put into effect on Aug. 1. At that point, the City Council could be asked to approve stricter conservation guidelines, Ameri added.

The growing issue of equity born out of Brown’s plan to place the brunt of water conservation on regular citizens rather the state’s agricultural interests, which put far greater burdens on the water supply, was discussed often by the Hayward City Council.

“I’m looking for fairness across the board. I want to be treated with respect when it comes to cutbacks,” Councilmember Marvin Peixoto said, within the context of other wealthy enclaves such as Atherton, where per capita water usage is sky-high in comparison to Hayward.

“Somebody told me it was idiotic for me to control my gallons [of water] when I wash dishes and when I bathe, but nothing to Nestle for stealing our water,” Councilmember Francisco Zermeno said, a common critique against the multinational corporation that also bottles water in the state.

What is the state doing? asked Councilmember Greg Jones. “What are we doing proactively to solve some of this? He suggested alternatives like employing gray water for irrigation and possibly a multi-tiered pay structure for those using more water. “We just can’t keep cutting or we’re going to be sitting around smelling pretty bad and I don’t look forward to that eventuality,” said Jones. “I like you all up here, but, please, keep taking a shower.”

5 thoughts on “Hayward mayor proposes ‘work-at-home, skip-a-shower day’

  1. By MW:

    A method that would reduce water use and also produce additional revenue for California businesses would be that no one would be allowed to take a shower or a bath unless and until he or she flunked smog.

    In other words, why should only cars be smogged!!! So my system for rationing water would be the following. Therefore if a person was becoming so extremely smelly and also starting to feel extremely itchy from not having taken a bath or shower for awhile, the person would then have to apply for permission to obtain the water to take the desired bath.

    The system would work in the following manner. You would go to the local smog inspection station, but rather than getting your car smogged, instead you yourself would stand one hundred feet away from the smog testing machine.

    If your body odor was so extremely bad that it at least caused the needles to blow off the machine, and preferably caused the machine to explode, you would then be granted permission to apply to the local water agency for the right to obtain the water to take a bath.


  2. By MW:

    In regard to the comment of 10:18AM, my past practice has been to take a shower once a year, and whether I needed it or not.

    However since of late the water shortage has been getting much worse, from now on I will be taking a shower only once every five years or whenever I get a letter from the EPA threatening me with a citation for air pollution, whichever comes LAST. And also to further save water, I will no longer be brushing my teeth and nor gargling and nor washing my clothes.

    So if you give me the addresses of yourself, friends, and neighbors and the times and dates in December of this year and January of next year they will be having their Christmas and New Year's parties, I will stop by and give very single person present a big hug and a long kiss.


  3. There's only one person who stinks more than anyone, and that's MW. Please take a short shower MW, because your ranting has a horrible tone and Tea Party stench.


  4. By MW:

    While we do, of course, need to take steps to conserve water, however regardless of how dire the drought gets still I definitely would not be in favor of politicians, and especially Bay area politicians, skipping showers.

    More specifically, most politicians, and especially Bay area politicians, already stink way too much and have a truly horrible stench about them, and therefore I would suggest that anytime you are planning on going to a meeting at which politicians are likely to be present to take a lot of huge bottles of industrial strength Lysol along to pour on the politicians. and hopefully at least partially disinfect those stinkers.

    In fact next time a politician runs for office and asks for election campaign contributions, if you have extra cash you can spare, rather than giving the cash directly to the politician a much better idea would therefore be to buy some bars of extra strong germicidal soap to give to the politician so that he or she could take a long shower, and hopefully get rid of at least some of the stinkiness that most politicians are surrounded by.


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