01.17.12Martha Golea

Are you obsessed?


Some of us get a little carried away when it comes to the things we’re passionate about. Not sure if you’re going overboard? Here’s how you can tell.

You might be obsessed with water management if:

  • You wish commercial buildings had “How’s my irrigation system?” hotlines because you would call to report deficiencies
  • On a romantic evening stroll, you stop to adjust errant pop-up heads in strangers’ yards
  • You knock on the bathroom door to remind your guest not to flush unless necessary
  • You bathe your dog with your children
  • You use water from soaking veggies to fill your kiddie pool
  • Because of your top-notch water harvesting system, all of your friends and family will end up at your house in case of drought
  • One of your children’s weekly chores is to inspect the irrigation system
  • You only wash your hair when it rains (not applicable in desert climates…hopefully)
  • You’re a big supporter of wastewater recycling and the term “toilet to tap” doesn’t even gross you out
  • You encourage your teenagers to dye their hair wild colors so they’ll take shorter showers (Hey, it’s just good parenting!)
  • You drain pasta water into your pet’s water bowl
  • You siphon the runoff from your wasteful neighbor’s lawn to use for your own irrigation solutions
  • When a new neighbor moves in, you bring them a rain sensor instead of a pie
  • You see neighbor kids running through sprinklers and you toss them a bar of soap
  • You’ve taken the facility tour at your local water utility more than once and have exchanged contact info with the tour guide*
  • You took Kelly Duke’s blog post “It’s Like A Metaphor” as a challenge and are already working on the design and engineering logistics of the urban watershed program he outlined
  • People roll their eyes when you quote passages from The Green Blue Book or The Big Thirst…again
  • You follow any of the ValleyCrest Takes On bloggers on Twitter (Shameless plug! @h2oTrends@h2oMatters@MarGoH2O)

And finally:

  • You know who Patricia Mulroy is and maybe even have a picture of her on your desk

If any of these hit home with you, congratulations on your extremeness! Friends and family may think you’re sorta weird but you know they’ll be thankful someday.

If you’re not quite there yet, here’s a list of 100 ways to conserve that will get you started on the right path to water management enlightenment.

Do you have any other examples of extreme water management? I can’t wait to hear them, so leave a comment or tweet them to me @MarGoH2O

*I have. More on that later!

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Martha Golea

A seasoned communicator passionate water conservationist, Martha Golea tracks projects in progress and reports on usage of new and exploratory irrigation technology and water management strategies. In addition to contributing to customer newsletters and creating case studies of our work, Martha also creates tools that help educate customers and the community on landscape maintenance best practices.


  1. Tuesday, 12:47 Alan Harris

    Now that I have wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes I can craft a comment!

    I scored in the 90th percentile on the questions and got the bonus in regards to Pat Mulroy. In regards to “toilet to tap” if it is good enough for my dog it is good enough for me. Speaking of dogs, when we renovated the master bath (yeah, the one with the small swimming pool tub) we put in an extra large shower with a bench and 3 heads. In the winter we wash the dogs in the shower and take ours at the same time. However, in the summer time they have to suffer the embarrassment of being bathed outdoors (the dogs that is).

    PS As I was writing this comment my wife started laughing hysterically about bathing the children with the dogs.

  2. Wednesday, 12:42 Martha Golea

    @Alan- If I’ve made the Harris family shed a few joyous tears, my work here is done. How many laps is a mile, in your bathtub?

  3. Wednesday, 1:58 Alan Harris

    29.66 laps to the power of 2 equals a mile in the mirco-pool tub (thanks for asking). BTW – congrats on hitting 50 shares on the second day of the post. Must be the #YouMightBeAWaterGeek hashtag on Twitter. What a clever idea! ;)

  4. Thursday, 7:02 Kelly Duke

    You got me with bullet number 2. Yes, I adjust errant sprinkler heads during evening walks into town with my spouse. Further, I am ramping up to start carrying a few of those little colored flags that are used to mark utilties to identify those sprinklers that are beyond adjustment and need major surgery or rehab.

  5. Thursday, 9:53 Val Shaffer

    Jim Gaffagan–you had better stick with cake & hot pockets because the water subject is being monopolized at ValleyCrest!

  6. Thursday, 1:50 Lorraine DiBacco

    I must be a bad person because I don’t do any of that. Except I did give up my bottled water habit. Now it’s all tap for me. Good for the landfills too.

  7. Thursday, 1:51 Martha Golea

    @Lorraine, that doesn’t make you a bad person! It makes you the sane person who can chaperone the rest of us when we take our crazy-train out in public! :)

  8. Monday, 4:38 Warren Gorowitz

    Wow, great post. I’m starting not to feel as weird as I think I am after reading this and the many comments… Guess I’m not alone! LOL.

  9. Wednesday, 5:42 Jim Lauria

    Hi Martha,
    Great post. I know I am obsessed with water management when I throw coins in a public fountain and wish for increased water awareness.

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