Category Archives: Water Supply

Overuse of Water Continues Amid California Drought

California is in the middle of a long, seemingly unending drought, but that does not stop the widespread abuse of water restriction policies that are currently in place. Not only are private citizens being cited for watering lawns and otherwise overusing water, but the city of Los Angles recently made headlines for watering fake grass.

According to an article in CBS news, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which makes many of the rules regarding local water restrictions, appears to be violating some of its own policies. The DWP installed fake grass on their lawn in order to reduce the amount of water that they use so that they can stay within their own departmental policies. They are also looked up to as an example for the appropriate way to behave during a drought.

But CBS Los Angeles investigated and discovered that the DWP is watering this grass for a few minutes each week, which not only is a potential waste of water, but also causes grey water to run off into the very limited supply of drinking water. The drought in California causing serious problems for people in some parts of California, who are finding they do not have enough clean water for drinking or bathing. The report also angered neighbors because they have been following the stricter water restrictions that the DWP has created.

For it’s part, the DWP says that they are simply trying to keep the fake grass clean. They insist that they are trying to wash off dog pee. While this seems like it could be a legitimate concern, as there is no reason to keep watering grass that does not grow, it begs another question. It seems like there must be some other way for the fake grass to stay clean without causing water to run off and be wasted, even if it takes longer and is a little more work.

Using as little extra water is incredibly important in California where droughts have plagued the state for decades. The population continues to grow, taxing the limited natural resources the state has. Environmental problems also contribute to the drought in California, and until these issues are resolved, following the water restrictions is very important for everyone in California.

California Water District Think They Have Enough Water For Three More Years of Drought

California is feeling a little relief from the drought that has devastated crops, lawns, golf courses and plant life for the last four years. Last year, the state had a mandatory water restriction in place, but this year, thanks to a decent amount of snow in the Sierra Mountains, the water restriction has been lifted. The 411 California water districts recently reported enough water to last another three years under the current drought conditions, so that is good news for the people of California. But there are bigger issues looming over the heads of Californians. That issue is the decrease in the water level of the Colorado River. The Colorado River supplies water to 30 million people in seven states, and climate change will continue to reduce the water level in the river by 5 to 20 percent over the next four decades.

The Colorado River has been running especially low for the last ten years because of the intensity of the drought. The 110-mile-long Lake Mead is 130 feet lower than it was in 2000. Some of the reservoirs fed by the Colorado River may never be full again. California sits on the shores of the Pacific yet the state is thirsty for water. San Diego started a project to convert salt water to fresh water. The procedure and the equipment are expensive, but the results are worth it, according to the mayor of San Diego. Los Angeles hasn’t tackled the issue the same way San Diego has, and Northern California is in better shape than Southern California. Northern California has other water sources at its disposal.

The three-year projection from California’s water districts sounds a little too optimistic, according to an article published by sacbee.com. California Water Board Chairperson Felicia Marcus said the state’s new approach to water conservation is a response to the water situation in Northern California. Marcus still wants people to conserve water because she doesn’t believe the water districts have enough water to last three more years. Marcus did say it was OK to use water but use it practically and sensibly. What happens this winter in the Western states is anyone guess, but the hope is it will be a repeat of last winter.