The Southern California water agencies are generally big cheerleaders for the water plan. They see it as a step towards getting water diversion around the delta, and around the fish pulverizing pumps.
But there are some tiny cracks in the unified front, namely over water conservation.
Ron Sullivan, board chairman of the Eastern Municipal Water District, one of Metropolitan’s member agencies, said there are worries about how the conservation rules would apply in the hot, arid Inland area.
Yet it seems unlikely the dispute would derail the legislation, which marks the most concerted attempt in decades to address the state’s contentious water politics. A likelier pitfall is opposition by some liberals and conservatives to the idea of additional borrowing by the state. (P-E 10/30/09)
In the grand scheme of things, this is a relatively minor issue. There are plenty of ways to fix this, but it does highlight one of the many rifts in the state over water, this one being the ol’ inland vs. coastal. These water agencies are mostly serving urban users, so there aren’t the big differences for growing produce.
However, just between urban users there are some substantial water use differences between cool and hot climates. Humans will need a bit of extra water just to get by in the hotter temperatures, but where this really comes into play is landscaping. It takes a lot more water to grow those lush green lawns when it’s 103 degrees.
Given that blue fescue doesn’t really grow wild in California, ecologically the best solution would be to regulate landscaping water separately. But upgrading our infrastructure to get to that point seems like more of a 30 year plan.
Or another solution would be to encourage the use of greywater to alleviate much of the use of fresh water for landscaping. Far too much water that could be used to water grass goes down the drain behind washing machines and the like.
Meanwhile, in terms of getting the water deal done, well, toss Sen. Steinberg another snack he’d rather not have on his plate.