Water restrictions have been extended, and customers are still having to ask for water in California restaurants. The state has received some good storms of late, but the drought continues. Wisely, the State’s Water Resources Control Board has modified the restrictions to Governor Brown’s original proclamation from last year. By Executive Order B-36-15, the Water Board has been given authority to extend the current regulations through October, which were due to expire in three weeks. Brown’s original order was signed last Spring in an effort to save water through conservation measures and to be determined by individual water districts. It set a very attainable goal, whereas the order states, “…impose restrictions to achieve a statewide 25% reduction in potable urban water usage through February 28, 2016.”
Although there’re some modifications to the regulation, two Southern California water agencies are crying foul due to their efforts not being recognized. The Eastern and Western Municipal Water Districts, EMWD and WMWD respectively, both claim that their customers have conserved enough, and should not have to continue under these strict regulations that have many neighborhood lawns going brown…the color brown, that is. So what is Governor Brown to do…regulate a few, while others are free to water their lawns at will?
Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board has stated that, “After four years of extreme drought…” Californians need to keep doing what they’re doing to conserve. This kind of language needs to be shouted from the capitol EVERY year, and not just because we’re in a drought. And what’s this 4 year crap? Governor Schwarzeneggar proclaimed in 2008 that California was in a drought, and that we need to be conserving more! His agenda included a comprehensive plan to grow the infrastructure and create jobs, but many claimed this “catastrophic drought” was a hoax. He was further portrayed as a gloom and doom Governor, and the $11.1 Billion Bond was voted down and never heard from again.
Consistent Water Conservation
It seems that with every administration a new drought is declared in California, and then it’s up to water agencies to find ways to conserve water or face future allocation reductions, or fines. Municipal Rebates are a common way to encourage conservation, and the Los Angeles DWP has taken a step further and enacted a program that wants us to rat-out our neighbor who is seen as wasting water. It used to be called Drought Busters, but has since been renamed, the Water Conservation Response Unit. This seems a bit harsh, but otherwise these regulations have no teeth, and with an expiration date coming down from Sacramento, Water Conservation seems only temporary. One day we’re being fined because it didn’t snow enough in the Sierra’s and asked to tear out our lawns, and the next we’re allowed to wash our cars in the driveway, let the water run down the street and hear our law makers say, “never mind, it rained today”. Where’s the consistency?
Water Conservation needs to be an on-going way of life, especially for those striving for a Lifestyle in Sustainability.