California: beyond the drought
California: beyond the drought.
Californians: Let’s take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.
The governor asked us to reduce water use by 20 percent and we cut back on average by 25 percent.
One major decision is how we will treat recycled water: Is recycling water saving in itself and, therefore, recycled water should not be subject to water-use targets?
Or must it be used like all water — as efficiently as possible?
The good news is that the state water board is developing tailored water budgets to help water agencies conserve that will be more flexible than the across-the-board drought cuts and will take into account local temperatures, evaporation rates and population.
The state is basing its budgets on 55 gallons per person per day for indoor use (San Franciscans use about that for indoor and outdoor use combined).
It has set up a system of high-tech climate-monitoring stations across the state to provide data on which to base realistic landscape ordinances.
It will be up to local agencies to determine how to live within their budgets beginning in 2021.
Recycled water must be included.