Originally published May 19 2015
Aggressive water restrictions ordered by Governor of California
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) At a time when California is experiencing severe droughts, it would appear that its residents, businesses and government isn't practicing water conservation efforts as diligently as they could be; data show that water use among Californians fell less than 4 percent in March compared with the same month in 2013. Since last summer, total water savings have been just a mere 9 percent.
To address the severity of this problem, the state's governor, Jerry Brown, recently put stringent, mandatory water restrictions in place that surpass the voluntary ones already in effect. For example, each city has been ordered to cut water use by as much as 36 percent compared with 2013, which is the year before he declared a drought emergency. Brown also said that water agencies should now cut urban water use by 25 percent from the 2013 levels.
While the state has been hit devastatingly hard by the droughts -- untold amounts of water have been siphoned from water aquifers, some residents have had to take showers using portable stalls set up in parking lots, hydrants are being let open, farmers have had to move their animals to rented wetter land, and crops are dying -- the governor maintains that people have not necessarily been taking the matter as seriously as they should. As a result, he made the mandatory orders clear, prompting State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus to say, "It is better to prepare now than face much more painful cuts should it not rain in the fall."
Not everyone on board with governor's mandatory water conservation planAlthough his call for action represents an effort to develop solutions for the drought-stricken state, not everyone is pleased with these water restrictions. Declining property values, the inability to test drought-proof technologies and an estimated $1 billion revenue loss for private water utilities and local water departments have all been cited as reasons for not embracing Brown's plan.
Michelle Wallace, 38, is one person who is not happy with the plan. She lives in a San Jose townhouse with her three daughters. Two of them are teenagers who tend to take very long showers. "Not everyone is on board in the household, and it's going to cost me quite a bit more I'm sure," Wallace said. "I never really paid attention to the drought before, and now I'll have to. When the bill does come and we're over -- because I know we're going to be -- I'm going to be very upset about it."
People coming forward with suggestions on how to conserve waterThe effects of California's struggles are far-reaching, with many people coming forward and presenting helpful solutions. Many of them involve plans for individuals to conserve water by refraining from unnecessary water use such as washing cars or watering lawns. Taking quick showers has also been suggested, with some going so far as to take "navy showers" which involve turning the water on only for initially wetting the body and for rinsing purposes -- lathering is done with the water off, as it's not needed.
On a larger scale, one rather surprising suggestion recently came from former Star Trek actor William Shatner, who proposed building an above-ground water pipeline from Seattle to California. To raise money for the project, which would cost approximately $30 billion, he created a Kickstarter campaign as well as a website to generate feedback and new thoughts about his plan. Opponents of this plan say that the time it would take to build it doesn't address immediate water needs and that it overlooks other states like Washington that are also having drought issues.
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