California Drought Leads To Unprecedented Levels Of Water Conservation In The State

Martha Washington - Author
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Jul. 15 2015, Updated 5:00 a.m. ET

Drought-hit California has reduced the use of water by 28.9 percent as of May, 2015. The State Water Resources Control Board has confirmed this, in comparison with the statistics for May, 2013.

The encouraging numbers have come as a welcome positive effect from Governor Jerry Brown’s call to conserve water in the face of the California drought.

The aggressive campaign for water conservation urged California’s drought-hit residents to make necessary lifestyle changes. Shorter showers, using water-efficient appliances, and replacing grass with more drought-tolerant landscaping are some of the steps residents have been taking.

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State Water Board chairperson Felicia Marcus said, “The numbers tell us that more Californians are stepping up to help make their communities more water secure.” She added that this was wonderful news under current conditions.

Marcus said that all residents facing the California drought must step up to help conserve the community’s water resources. If the drought continues for more than a year, then everyone will be glad to have taken such steps.

Mark Gold of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability said to the Los Angeles Times, “My first response is almost disbelief.”

He added that it was very heartening to see the steps people are taking and sacrifices they are making to get past the California drought including treating water damage in Orange County.

The water conservation data has come from over 400 water suppliers All of California’s suppliers must meet specified conservation targets starting in June or face a penalty.

The targets for water suppliers have been set based on their previous efforts for conservation. While some have to cut down as little as four percent, others have to bring down consumption by almost 36 percent.

The enforcement and compliance statistics for May show another important thing. They indicate that water suppliers are actively following up on complaints of water wastage. Alleged violators are receiving formal warnings and penalties.

The Water Board is urging California’s drought-hit residents for conservation efforts through the critical summer months. The months of June, July, and August are especially crucial.

The Board acknowledges that rainfall in May was also part of the higher conservation statistics. Residents can decide for themselves where to focus for conservation. Water suppliers are, however, told to focus on bringing down outdoor irrigation.

Outdoor irrigation can account for almost 80 percent of total water use. The Board has also issued an order to limit watering the lawn to only twice a week.

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