The District of Columbia is experiencing a drought with a rain deficit of almost 9 inches. But you'd hardly know it if you were visiting the local Whole Foods this morning. There, a worker was out power-washing the sidewalk.
A bright red pickup carrying a huge compressor was parked in front of the store with long lengths of hose running in both directions and water flying everywhere.
Perhaps Whole Foods is just trying to give a Bronx cheer to our neighbors in Virginia, where there's a 13-inch rain deficit at Dulles Airport. The nearby town of Purcellville in Loudon County, Virginia, where mandatory water restrictions are in place, could very soon run out of water altogether. The rain deficit in Central Virginia is more like 17 inches.
And in neighboring North Carolina, almost every county in the state is experiencing what is described as "extreme" drought, or worse. The City of Atlanta, GA, is in danger of watching its main source of water completely dry up.
It's a very bad time for the Mid-Atlantic. Here in the nation's capital, we are poised to break a record, having seen 33 consecutive days without measurable rainfall. Trees all over town are dying--turning crispy brown--for lack of water. Area farmers are desperate for rain. For many, there will be no pumpkin harvest this Halloween.
Which begs the question, Is anyone at Whole Foods watching the weather?
Over on the chain's corporate website, Whole Foods declares: "We see the necessity of active environmental stewardship so that the earth continues to flourish for generations to come. We seek to balance our needs with the needs of the rest of the planet through the following actions," including:
"Reducing waste and consumption of non-renewable resources. We promote and participate in recycling programs in our communities. We are committed to re-usable packaging, reduced packaging, and water and energy conservation.
"Encouraging environmentally sound cleaning and store maintenance programs." (emphasis added)
Makes you wonder how badly that sidewalk needed to be washed.