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You know it means trouble if you have to spray paint the lawn


Maybe it's yesterday's rain that's giving us a mental breather, but amid the increasingly bad news about our drought, I couldn't help laughing at a photo of a man in Indianapolis spray painting grass in front of stores to make the lawns look more attractive.

Indianapolis has been under a watering ban since the middle of July. A friend of mine who lives there said gardens and critical plants are excluded, but the lawn is definitely a no-no. I guess that gives the man in the photo some extra work this summer. Apparently the biggest demand for that type of business, aside from sports fields, is sprucing up lawns in front of foreclosed homes.

Indy isn't the only place that has put restrictions on residents in an attempt to make municipal water pools go farther. And given the trouble residents in Parr are reporting, I think most of them would gladly sacrifice some grass if they could be sure they would have enough water to drink and do their daily household business.

According to organizations such as The World Water Council, increasing population and industrialization has already made water a critical resource for a good part of the planet (they estimate 1 in 6 people don't have adequate access to safe water). Here we are, with some of the best freshwater resources in the world, and this drought is giving some of us a little glimpse of what that must be like.

For more thoughts about the future of water, check out When the Rivers Run Dry by Fred Pearce.

Also, check out's drought photos.

It's enough to make you thankful for every drop of rain we've seen.