How the drought changed California forever
How the drought changed California forever.
“That probably goes all the way back to the Depression.” The era of massive dam building in California began after the 1929-34 drought.
And the state’s brutal 1987-92 drought prompted water departments in the Bay Area and Southern California to connect their networks of pipes together, to build huge groundwater storage banks and new local reservoirs, and to develop a statewide system of buying and selling water.
To me that’s remarkable.” The drought nevertheless left a lasting impact in at least five key ways: 1) Groundwater: After 100 years of allowing cities and farms to pump as much water as they wanted from the ground, without reporting it to the state or being limited, dozens of communities across California found themselves with precariously dropping water tables as the drought began.
Jerry Brown signed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, requiring local government agencies in areas with severely overdrawn groundwater to draw up plans by 2020 to bring it into balance.
But some areas are going to really suffer.” 2) Water wasting: Several high-profile rules put into place by the State Water Resources Control Board during the drought will continue forever.
That’s a hard one when you see floods and endless rain.” 3) Proposition 1: In November 2014, during some of the worst months of the drought, California voters approved a $7.5 billion water bond to fund new reservoirs, recycled water projects, desalination and stormwater capture efforts.
Over that time, 2.6 million acre-feet of water was saved — enough to supply more than 13 million people for a year.
The Metropolitan Water District in Southern California spent $310 million alone in rebates for people to remove 160 million square feet of grass, which will save 21,000 acre feet of water every year.
Lawns use 50 percent of all urban water during summer months, and as cities wrote new local rules limiting lawns in new homes and businesses, neighbors looked askance at homeowners who had bright green turf.