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California Declares Drought Emergency

California drought emergency

Fresno, CA

February 11, 2014

image of california drought indexCalendar year 2013 closed as the driest year in recorded history for many areas of California, and current conditions suggest no change in sight for 2014.

Gov. Jerry Brown met with experts across Southern California on Thursday to discuss the state’s severe drought conditions. With the state’s water supply dwindling, agencies across California are coming together to look for solutions.

In order to protect Californians’ health and safety from more severe weather water shortages in the months ahead, DWR took actions and as a result everyone will get less water as DWR drops State Water Project allocation to zero during this worst-ever water supply outlook.

The Metropolitan Water District provides water to close to 19 million Californians, which amounts to about one in two people. The agency has long stressed conservation and now, the need has never been greater and every drop counts. “We want all of Southern Californians to conserve water, and we support the state’s goal of 20 percent conservation,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District.

Water conserving tools and methods are fairly common in Southern California. But this drought is so severe, that it’s something Northern Californians will have to get used to as well.

“It ultimately is the home. What do you use your water for, and what don’t you need to use your water for? Every day this drought goes on, we’re going to have to tighten the screws on what people are doing,” Brown said.

While there are many water conservation methods can be used inside the home, few homeowners are aware that the EPA estimates that 50-70% of household water in the US is used for outdoor irrigation, totaling over 7 billion gallons of water per day.

That means homeowners and business owners alike need to look outside the home to contribute to substantial water saving. Solutions such as more efficient irrigation can help, but turning to Xeriscapes or artificial grass options is a more significant contribution to conservation.

The Metropolitan Water District says they’re doubling the budget for rebate programs from $20 million to $40 million because they’ve proven to be very effective. These rebates can help consumers reduce their cost of replacing natural grass with synthetic grass that will continue to contribute to water savings year after year. This is a long-term solution every California resident should consider that will contribute to immediate results.

image of california drought monitor

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