California Drought

A kayaker fishes in Lake Oroville as water levels remain low due to continuing drought conditions in Oroville, Calif. A severe drought prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to ask the state’s nearly 40 million residents to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15% this year.

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A severe drought prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom last summer to ask the state’s nearly 40 million residents to voluntarily reduce water use by 15% this year. New data released, Tuesday, shows few people are doing that.

Californians reduced their water use by a measly 3.9% in September, down from 5.1% in August. Overall, California has reduced its water consumption by just 3.6% since July, when Newsom made the request.

“It’s not the news we want to see, for sure,” said E. Joaquin Esquivel, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board.

A megadrought fueled by climate change has enveloped much of the West. As California heads into what traditionally is its wettest time of the year, 80% of the state is classified as in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories.

State officials had hoped Californians’ conservation would continue to improve each month as more people learn about the drought and water agencies promote their conservation efforts. Instead, data showed none of the state’s “hydrologic” regions met the 15% threshold and two in the Central Valley region that account for 10% of the state’s population actually used more water in September than a year ago.

Water agencies say California actually has reduced its consumption because of changes put in place during prior droughts. That means cutting more now is harder.

In Los Angeles, customer demand for water has dropped 30% since 2007. And during the drought that ended in 2017, customer demand fell by 20%, a reduction mostly maintained once that drought ended.

For example, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has imposed mandatory irrigation restrictions since 2009 and incentivized customers to replace their lawns with turf. The agency has been hiring more people to enforce water use rules, beefing up patrols that search for leaks and violations.

Beyond those efforts, it will take lots of time and money to see any real savings “given most of the immediate savings potentials have already been accomplished in our service area,” said Terrence McCarthy, the department’s water resources policy manager.

The biggest water savings in September came in two sparsely populated regions in Northern California, where conservation increased by 12.4% or more. The San Francisco Bay area reduced its water use by 7.6%, and it fell 4.2% in the South Coast, which includes Los Angeles and San Diego and accounts for more than half the state’s population.

(1) comment

Jimzan 2.0

Never forget the ASSOCIATED PRESS is human Trash Bags (IMHO) and if we spent our money on projects like building Dams, Man-Made Lakes, and Hydro Electric Plants we wouldn't have to worry about all these "avoidable" issues. No instead Gavin wants to give illegal immigrants money, and welfare, and free medical...you know what that money would buy if it went to water storage projects...But the left wing weasels have to buy votes with that money...because a parasite will not pull the blue lever if they are not getting their quota of freebies. Are you enjoying higher gas prices, higher food prices, a weaker America on a global scale...? That's what being a Democrat today stands for....America the Jokes on U.S.....enjoy tent living, because the Dems want you in living in a tent....it makes it easier for "you" to worship them.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.