A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hollywood's Gaffes and Gagas over Greywater

Green living is making quite a splash on TV.  Previous postings introduced the South African Love and Mortar reality series that started in January, and based on my review of the trailer and episode summaries, it is "must see" TV. The "greywater episode" is not scheduled until mid to late March, but I recommend a visit to the show. Michelle and Riaan have a hit.

But what about a power-house eco-couple for the US? One exists!  Ed Begley and his eco-partner Rachelle have starred in a reality TV series for a couple of years now.  Who is Ed Begley?  He has been acting since the 1970s; my most memorable shows where he starred include "Mannix", "MASH" and "Six Feet Under", but he has made many good movies, too. The show Living with Ed is advertised as "Not your typical Hollywood Power Struggle".  Given that the show has been on for a little while, one can watch the episodes online.  I could not find the episode on Ed's greywater system (but "Buzz" sent me the heads up that it does exist and the link is to the episode notes - thanks, Buzz!), but Planet Green TV also offers articles on different topics related to green living, and that is where I found this article about Ed Begley's incredible greywater system. This is not your father's greywater system.  This is a small wastewater treatment plant designed and installed into Ed's garage by Gray Water Recycling Systems located in California.  Ed is a spokesperson for GWRS, so I think he got a good deal on the set-up.  Clearly a winner of the Rainbow Water Coalition "Greywater Gadget of the Week".  But I digress.

Planet Green TV also has a show hosted by Tom Bergeron called Supper Club, where he hangs out with his Hollywood buddies and discusses "new green concepts", at least new to him in some instances.  If Tom's name rings a bell, it might be because he hosts "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Dancing with the Stars".  I haven't watched America's Funniest Home Videos, but I could not resist watching former Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay as he competed on this episode of Dancing with the Stars. He moves pretty good!  Too bad he got injured.  I think he could have beaten Donny Osmond, the winner for this year.

Here is where things get interesting from the perspective of an Oregonian.  Supper Club had an episode dedicated to greywater where some familiar faces sat in someone's very nice Hollywood living room talking about their other nice places in Santa Barbara, California. The episode did not identify who was hanging out with Tom. About 3 minutes into the discussion, one of Tom's friends described the plight of salmon because water from the Columbia River was being diverted to grow cotton in southern California.  I am not making this up.  Watch it for yourselves.  Oregonians have always been suspicious of California over water issues.  But now we have it on tape.  They are stealing "our" water (well, Washington, Idaho, and Montana have a stake in the Columbia River), to grow cotton, and we did not even know about it until now.  One of Oregon's senators devised a plan to sell "Oregon's Oil" to the highest bidder, but it did not go anywhere.  The cotton industry is apparently worth about $3 billion per year to California.  Well, California cough up some cash for Oregon's Oil so we can fund our fading education system.  But we are still wondering how the heck you got our water out of the state without our knowing about it.


  1. Todd: Great Blog. Regarding the episode of "Living with Ed" showing his Gray Water System. It's titled "Veto Power" and stills from it can be seen at Ed's site www.livingwithed.net.
    I don't believe Planet Green has the episode on line since it's still being aired fairly frequently in rerun.
    Let me know if there's anything I can do for you. Through persistence and making a case for plain common sense, we've had excellent results with regulators and building departments here in California.

  2. Thanks, Buzz. I corrected my posting and linked to "Veto Power" notes and photos, showing Ed's great greywater system. Thanks for reading.