Climate change induced water scarcity is becoming a looming issue for regions across the globe. One region in particular that has been in danger of water scarcity is California. Because of this, the state and its municipalities have enacted laws to make use of every drop of water. Water conservation initiatives and practices have become commonplace in the state. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the most important action item in California’s Water Action Plan is to “make conservation a way of life.”
However, recent uproar has erupted since Californian governor Jerry Brown asked the state’s Resource Control Board to allow cities, water districts, and private companies to set their own water conservation targets. Although some conservation rules will remain permanent, the decentralization of water conservation goals has troubled many.
While The El Niño weather pattern has put some regions in drought, the climatic irregularity has fortunately improved the state’s reservoir levels. Just look at the state’s two largest reservoirs, Shasta and Oroville, which are now more than 93 percent full according to the Eastbay Times. However California is not out of rough waters just yet.
The majority of Southern California’s reservoirs are still only about half full, signaling caution for Southern California residents. In order to combat the impending water crisis, San Diego residents have undertaken remarkably effective water conservation strategies. In fact, residents have reduced per capita potable water use by nearly 40 percent since 1990. Remarkable indeed, but considering that its population has grown by a third and its economy by almost fifty percent since 1990, the achievement becomes near miraculous.
According to Mark Weston of The Mercury News, promoting a water-efficient culture is key to preserving the state’s well being against the dangers of drought. However advocates of the governor’s new executive order argue that his new initiative does just that. The governor’s initiative still maintains prohibitions against wasteful practices, as well as eliminating water waste from leaks in water distribution systems. His plan also focuses on water suppliers, pushing them to set targets and guidelines, while also allowing them more flexibility by broadening the number of suppliers.
Unfortunately for California, dry conditions may return for the incoming summer, meaning that the drought is still not over. For these reasons, California will continue to implement regulations that continue to protect water efficiency and promote water conservation.
If you liked this post and would like to read more on water conservation, check out our twitter @WAVEHome for more news and information. Thanks for reading!