It’s looking like a long, hot summer that starts today – and it’s going to be even more parched if Californians don’t get with the program.
Water agencies in Southern California and elsewhere, which have reduced per person water use with longstanding, robust conservation programs, can plausibly claim that it’s more difficult for them to wring out more savings. Some officials argue that a blanket conservation target is unrealistic and unfair because of the different climate and vegetation across the state.
Still, everyone has to do their part for voluntary conservation to work.
To pick the right solutions, the board needs to know the extent of the problem. The data it released this week are not definitive, compiled from surveys returned by just 270 of 443 water agencies across California. The board should heed the call for mandatory reporting of water production and consumption at least during the drought.
While big changes in how we use, and reuse, water may be in store in the longer term, there’s no excuse for not saving as much as we can in the here and now. It’s not that hard: taking shorter showers, making sure pipes aren’t leaking, washing only full loads, reducing lawn irrigation times. You can even look into installing water efficient toilets, putting a rain barrel in the yard or taking advantage of rebates for replacing lawns with less thirsty landscaping.
Gallon by gallon, it all adds up.