No climatologist can say with certainty if this winter – or the next 10 winters – will bring the rainy season California so desperately needs. If it doesn’t, the mandatory water conservation measures could be back in full force since voluntary reductions are less than impressive.
Back in September, the San Diego County Water Authority was cautiously optimistic when it announced that the region had a sufficient supply of water on-hand to meet expected demands for next year and beyond.
The optimism was based upon two things:
Even though the state-mandated emergency water-use reductions were lifted in June, urban water use from June – August in San Diego County was 18% below what it had been during the same period in 2013.
In early October, the State Water Resources Control Board said that urban water conservation dropped from 27% this time last year to 17.7% this year.
Peter Gleick, chief scientist at global water think-tank Pacific Institute, suggested that the messaging when the restrictions were lifted may have unanticipated negative consequences.
“When the state board removed the mandatory targets, that sent a message (that said), ‘The drought’s over, the mandatory conservation targets are gone,” he said.
Dennis Baldocchi, a professor in the Environmental Science Department at the University of California – Berkeley, said “People don’t appreciate that we live in a Mediterranean climate where water is precious and we shouldn’t overuse it.
“We’re mining this water. It took tens of thousands of years for that water to form. And farmers are now going even deeper, hundreds and hundreds of feet deep, and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to drill for water. What they’re doing is not sustainable in the long run.”
Even though the mandatory restrictions have been lifted, we’re in no way out of the woods just yet. There are a host of things you can do to make sure you’re using water wisely, including the use of rain barrels and water adjustment controllers.
For more information, get in touch with us here at Juniper Landscape by calling 619-334-9464.