California is in the midst of a historic drought. Some are calling it the worst in 1,200 years. It’s no secret that there’s not enough water to go around. So how does California plan to conserve water?
California has put many new laws into place to help its residents and businesses save water. These include mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use and incentives for Xeriscaping, among other things. It’s also heavily investing in water recycling facilities and desalination plants to provide more drinking water for the state. These changes will have an impact for generations to come, but we need your help, too!
California is currently experiencing a historic drought. We have not seen water levels this low in 1,200 years. This drought poses a huge threat to California’s environment and its economy. California officials are taking action in order to curb the effects of the drought by implementing mandatory restrictions to reduce water use, investing in recycling centers and desalination plants to provide more drinking water for the state, and offering incentives for Xeriscaping.
What California is doing to Conserve Water?
The drought in California has been going on for a long time and is getting worse. In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency and committed to cut urban water use by 25%. And current Governor Gavin Newsom has also declared a state emergency of water drought in California.
The order also directs the State Water Resources Control Board to expedite and prioritize water infrastructure projects, which will improve supply. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Thursday encouraging all Californians to reduce their water use by 15%. 50 of the 58 counties in California now have a drought-related state of emergency.
One way that the state is trying to conserve water is through mandatory restrictions on the use of outdoor water. There are strict rules for things like watering the lawn, washing the car, and building new ones. These restrictions have also translated into incentives to help promote better water use habits. For example, there are exemptions for installing low-flow toilets and showerheads, as well as a tax deduction for those who replace inefficient appliances with more efficient ones.
California is also investing in recycling facilities and desalination plants to provide more drinking water for the state. Changes will have an impact on generations to come, but it needs your help too!
Mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use
Some may believe that the solution to California’s water crisis is to start drilling for more groundwater, but this often ends up being a short-term solution. The problem is that groundwater levels are dropping quickly in some areas, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
California has put mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use in place. A few of these restrictions include not watering your lawn, washing your car at home, or filling up any pools. These restrictions will make a big difference because residential and commercial consumers account for about two-thirds of water consumption in the state. If you adhere to these regulations and use less water, it will really help conserve the state’s dwindling resources.
In July of last year, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. The drought is impacting many areas of the state and has resulted in mandatory restrictions on water use for all Californians. We’ve already saved more than 3 million acre-feet of water, but there’s still so much more to do!
Some of these restrictions include:
- No washing cars with hoses
- No watering lawns or landscapes except with hand-held containers or drip systems
- Restaurants will only serve water to customers upon request
These restrictions are also having an impact on agriculture in the state. Farmers are not allowed to irrigate their crops without a permit and many can’t get one because they don’t have enough water. In addition, the cost and availability of food may be impacted by higher prices and shortages due to decreased production in California.
The investment in water recycling facilities and desalination plants
It’s not just the laws that are helping California conserve water. The state is also investing in facilities like water recycling plants and desalination plants to provide more drinking water for its residents.
California is investing heavily in these facilities as they promise a source of potable water, even during periods of drought. Recycled wastewater is used to irrigate parks and a golf course, which means the state, will have less dependence on freshwater sources like the Sacramento River. Desalination plants work by using the power of the sun to convert saltwater into potable drinking water. And these technologies aren’t just being built in California, either. They’re popping up all over the world as people realize how much freshwater is a valuable resource.
Your role in conserve water
While the state is taking some major measures to address the drought, it’s up to all of us to conserve water. If you’re in The Golden State, California, please help conserve water by following these simple tips.
Indoor Conserve Water Tips
Toilets and faucets require less water because of aerators.
Showers need to be taken for 5 minutes or less.
Dishes will have a minimal amount of water required in the dishwasher, as well as your clothes by washing machines with low use settings (or even better yet – hand wash).
Outdoor Conserve Water Tips
Plant drought-tolerant plants and trees.
Recycle indoor water to use on plants.
Refrain from watering your home field, lawn, and plants when it rains,
Replace your grass/turf with water-wise plants,
Use a broom to clean driveways, patios, and sidewalks instead of using the hose for cleaning outside surfaces