Water Use Goes Up: Shame On Us


The news that Californians have failed to reduce water consumption in line with the governor’s emergency drought order is discouraging.

In January of this year, California cities cut water use by 8%, dropping to 2.8% in February.

Those are statewide figures, in Southern California, the drop was -2.3%, in other words, consumption went up.

Especially noteworthy is the high water usage by homeowners in more affluent areas like La Canada Flintridge and Beverly Hills, with the highest per capita (per person) going to Rancho Santa Fe in Northern San Diego County, with 345 gallons per day, compared to Montebello which came in at 64 gallons per day.

Now Gov. Brown is mandating a 25-35% reduction and calling for heavier enforcement and stiff fines for water agencies that fail to get their customers to meet his target– which means these agencies will in turn fine their water customers.

Fingers are being pointed at California’s agriculture industry, which the governor is going easier on. As legitimate as the complaints may be, it does not absolve the rest of us from failing so dismally to conserve the precious commodity that is in short supply, and will likely remain that way for some time.

In the midst of a severe, record setting, multi-year drought, Southern Californians used 2.4% more water compared to the same period last year. That’s embarrassing, to say the least.

Perhaps the only solution is for stiff penalties to be levied against Californians who feel entitled to consume as much water as they desire; the rest of us be damned.

It makes us shutter to think these attitudes could lead to water war, and the victims once again those who can least afford to pay more and get by with even less.

We hope the majority of Californians will soon meet the state’s water saving goals, and that those who fail to recognize the crisis at hand will face heavy fines.

If the state continues to run out of water, it won’t matter much if you live in a rural or urban area, we will all feel the pain.

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