Thursday, April 02, 2015

California orders first-ever mandatory water reductions

Houseboats float in California’s drought-lowered Oroville Lake. Credit Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press
Water is the most wasted resource on the planet. However, our leaders have been so focused on oil, pipelines and punching more holes in the earth (where the real money is) that very little attention has been given to water, the drought, hoping that it will rain someday soon and the problem will just go away. But what if it doesn't? What if we actually had to make sacrifices? Looks like we may find out.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered mandatory water use reductions for the first time in California’s history, saying the state’s four-year drought had reached near-crisis proportions after a paltry mountain snowpack. The lowest since 1950 -- means low levels at state reservoirs, which supply 30% of California's May-through-November water to homeowners, farms, wineries and utilities.

The State Water Resources Control Board is considering to impose a 25 percent reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies, which serve 90 percent of California residents, over the coming year. The agencies will be responsible for coming up with restrictions to cut back on water use and for monitoring compliance.

State officials said the order would impose varying degrees of cutbacks on water use across the board — most of these cutbacks are aimed at the usual suspects -- residents: watering gardens, lawns, car and driveway washing, laundry, toilets . . . . .

BUT NOT ONE MENTION about big oil and gas companies cutting back.

California is the fourth largest oil producer in the country and over half the wells are fracked. Fracking poses a serious threat to California’s water supply and quality. It is an extremely water intensive practice, using hundreds of thousands to millions of gallons of fresh water to frack a single well -- flushed with toxic chemical -- never to be returned as safe water. 

Maybe a 25% mandated reduction on gas consumption in California would make more sense? It might also end some of this insanity (below). Endless traffic jams not only waste gas, energy, time, lives but also billions of gallons of water.

Another day at the office. California style.


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