by Brian Leubitz
We all know that the state is in a pretty serious drought. But while most of the state has at least made some headway in conservation efforts, it just hasn’t been enough. I see you, SoCal, grinning sheepishly in the corner.
The new rules, approved by the State Water Resources Control Board on a 4-0 vote, impose new restrictions on outdoor water use starting Aug. 1 that could result in fines of up to $500 per violation.
Gov. Jerry Brown in January asked Californians to slash their water use by 20 percent. But a new state survey released Tuesday showed that water use in May rose by 1 percent this year, compared with a 2011-2013 May average. (Merc News / Paul Rogers)
Now, this isn’t all just household users. Perhaps it would be easier if that were the case, but water usage is a big mess of different parties and factions. Agricultural water use has been slightly decreased, mostly by force, but it still isn’t enough. Commercial use, like pressure washing, needs to be reduced as well. And, we all need to strive to take shorter showers and reduce water in every way that we can at home.
Because enforcement is up to local water authorities, many people won’t really notice any changes. But some are already up in arms. Like, say, the famously powerful lobbying group of BigPressureWashing. I kid, but this law directly impacts these users and their jobs. And here in SF, where local authorities are now taking a data-driven approach to poop on our sidewallks power-washing can be #KindOfABigDeal.
We can all do more to reduce water usage by using common sense, simple water-saving techniques. Maybe El Nino will save us next year, but we have to plan to be in a drought for a while. Better start saving now.