Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Australia-inspired solutions and the Friday shower tip

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81328 full

Friday's drought news wants to model itself on Australia, but why stop at water? Let's envy their coffee, rugby skill and mystery writers, too (but not their bush fires).

  • L.A.-based historian, writer and landscape architect Wade Graham weighs in on drought with an op-ed. He dismisses California's famous "co-equal goals" for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta as unrealistic, and says a way out of the water crisis for California is to steal the idea of a water market from Australia, where the first step was for everyone to agree to manage water "in the national interest." Graham writes:
Beginning with Australia's largest river system, the Murray-Darling basin, planners and scientists now look first to how much water is needed to sustain stream ecosystems, and cap diversions to maintain them. Water quality, salinity and the connections between surface and ground water are all taken into account. Next, water is set aside for the essential needs of human communities for drinking, household use, sanitation and firefighting. (Wade Graham/LA Times)
  • Australia, Australia, Australia. (In the voice of Jan Brady.) TreePeople suggests that Southern California should borrow stormwater runoff and other tactics common in Melbourne and Sydney to slake the thirst of struggling trees. (NBC/Los Angeles)

In other news:

  • A year ago $11.1 billion seemed like a steep price tag for a bond measure about water. But another finding of the just-out PPIC poll is that Californians are more likely than ever now to support that measure. (KPCC)
  • Fun with drought maps, again. The newest story told by the U.S. Drought Monitor maps is in Texas and Oklahoma, who both just saw their years get a lot more dusty this week. (American Water Blog)
  • So, maybe they're going to put voluntary restrictions into place in Rancho Bernardo and Poway, communities that depend on the Metropolitan Water District through the San Diego County Water Authority for their water. (Pomerado News)

And the Friday shower tip is back! Today's drought-related Tweet o'the Day comes from user eborgo1.

Your conservation tips, shower-related, Australian-inspired or otherwise, are welcome today and every the comments below. Enjoy the new moon this weekend!

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