An excerpt from the sequel in progress,
The Rainbow Option.    

The Under-Secretary for Citizen Conformance to Conservation Policy (CCCP) at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clicked off the television monitor in her conference room and turned to her staff.  “We were tipped about this show airing, but we couldn’t get to our sympathizers near the top of the organization quickly enough to kill the broadcast.  Stossel should be subpoenaed and forced to recant.  However,” here she narrowed her eyes and glared fiercely around the table, “why didn’t we know that so many citizens were flushing their toilets twice?  And for such a selfish reason!  Just to make sure all fecal matter is flushed away!  We required smaller toilet tank capacities for a reason.  To reduce water consumption to the levels we have decided are sustainable.  All they care about is the smell of the unflushed.  Ridiculous bourgeois pretentions!  A clean smell in private homes is a luxury no longer sustainable and we will not permit it!  The human race survived the smells and diseases of 14th century open sewers, and we can do it again.  Again I ask, why didn’t we know about this?  Tutwiler?”

Tutwiler looked at his hands in panic.  “Chief [she liked to be called chief] we have conducted usage surveys at over five thousand homes, and not one ever indicated this state of affairs.  How else could we know?” 

“You could demand a random sample audit of actual bathroom activity practices, you twit!”  Tutwiler kept looking down.  “With behavior audit video feeds in the bathroom taking data on real time actual habits, we would have known about the number of flushes!” the Chief continued.

“Well!  That’s water under the bridge,” she continued, unaware of her unintentional pun.  “Even though the President has told the chief of EPA that enforcement is a top priority, I don’t think that we will get the funding to hire enough enforcement officers to conduct raids on enough citizen bathrooms to make a dent in this problem. We will have to approach it some other way.  Ideas?”

A mid-level Compliance Analyst raised her hand.  “Yes, Chestpool?”  “Chief, using enforcement officers to enforce one flush compliance would be approaching the problem from the demand side.”  The Chief frowned, “So?”  “So, we could approach the problem from the supply side.  We could ration water supplies at so many gallons per person per household.  The private and municipal water and sewage companies already keep data on this for billing purposes.  We simply issue a new CCCP/EPA regulation on OFC enforcement via water rationing.” 

“OFC?  What is that?” interrupted the Chief.  “One Flush Compliance?” said the Compliance Analyst, now fearful that she had embarrassed the Chief.  “Oh, right.  I knew that.  Go on.”  “Well, we simply make the water companies responsible for enforcement of this new regulation.  The penalty for exceeding your water allotment is termination of your water supply.”

The Chief looked pleased.  “Excellent!  We don’t have to hire a cadre of enforcers; we just force the private sector and municipals to do it for us.  I like it.”  The Compliance Analyst blushed with pleasure. 

“What about apartment buildings where there are no individual water meters for individual apartments?” someone asked.  The Chief smiled, “That’s easy.  We determine the water allotment for the entire building based on the last census of occupants.  Then we shut off water for the entire building if the collective water allotment is exceeded. Neighbors will spy on neighbors and nag them and threaten them in self defense to preserve their own water rights.  They do the enforcement work for us.”

 “Chestpool, begin drafting the new regs.  Tutwiler, you help her.  We want this regulation to be announced within the week.  Make it retroactive to last month, so that we can catch some people immediately and make an example of them.  Ignorance of retroactive laws is no excuse.  And Tutwiler?” 

 “Yes, Chief?”  “This time remember to insert the standard language about the Federal Government and all Federal Employees being exempt from this regulation, in their personal domiciles as well as their office buildings.  Make sure that includes second and third homes as well.  And time share condos.”  “Yes, Chief.”  The Chief had a vacation home in Myrtle Beach and a time share condo at a ski resort.  She liked to refill the water in her Jacuzzis often.

 

 

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