slworking2/Flickr Creative Commons
This homeowner ripped out lawn to replace it with rocks. At least half of residential water use still goes toward landscaping in California, even during a drought.
Friday's news is asking questions and hoping for solutions.
- Can California conserve its way through drought? National Geographic notices that nobody's conserving enough, and takes in the Natural Resources Defense Council's report this week, which concludes that the state "could save up to 14 million acre-feet of water with a concerted effort to reuse water, capture lost stormwater, and ramp up water-saving practices in urban and agricultural settings."
If cities boosted their efficiency and reuse of water, they could readily save 5.2 to 7.1 million acre-feet of water per year, the report says, or more than enough water to supply all of urban southern California. Earlier this year the state allocated nearly $700 million toward those kinds of investments, and some projects are already under way around the state. "Cash for grass" programs, in which residents are paid to replace their lawns with water-free plantings, have been particularly popular, says Poole. On June 3, the State Water Resources Control Board issued revised rules that make it easier to use recycled water for landscaping. (National Geographic)
Kids love water parks. This summer, so do bees.
Today's #dryku comes courtesy of those geniuses at Stanford (@WaterintheWest):
So why should we care
About groundwater at all
Water flows from tap
Fantastic! Don't forget to submit your drykus to our Twitter account @kpccdryku.
On the news front, we look at drought costs, both expected and unexpected. First, the expected:
- Things are bad this year. Things will be oh so much worse next year if 2015 proves to be dry as well. That's according to the new drought action report out by the Association of California Water Agencies. How bad? Could be no cotton production in the San Joaquin Valley. (KQED)
- At least unexpected to me. Realtors are saying that brown lawns are driving down the prices of homes that are on the market. Not only are people turned off by brown lawns, they're shying from the cost of keeping green ones. Will this be the impetus for a drought-tolerant lawn revolution?
AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
- Despite Silicon Valley's position as a global tech capital, little if any research is being done there on technological advances in water conservation and supply management. CNN's Heather Kelly explains why:
Surprisingly, given its California location, Silicon Valley isn't a hotbed of drought and water research. Most local investors and venture capitalists aren't looking to invest in something that will take at least 10 years to pay off. They want software, cheap-to-make mobile apps that gather and monetize data about people, and consumer goods like phones, smart watches and futuristic thermostats. (CNN)
- EPA head gets mixed reception while pitching greenhouse gas reduction plans to Western governors. (AP)
- Summer arrives early to Sacramento. (Sacramento Bee)
- Central Valley supervisors pass groundwater management plan with no limits on new wells or groundwater pumping. (Modesto Bee)
Water shortages are blamed for driving cattle out of state to places like Texas and Nebraska.
Water bonds and bills
It's kind of like a film where
Drought is the villain
Speaking of drykus — for those of you who are new to the blog — we've been posting haikus related to the drought (drought + haiku = dryku = clever!). If you've been enjoying them, we've got good news. If not, now might be a good time to take that summer vacation.
That's because we want you to submit your drykus as well. Tweet them out to @kpccdryku, with hashtag #dryku. We'll select our favorites. You'll probably win some sort of poetry award and become rich beyond your wildest dreams. Or not. At the very least, you'll be helping build drought awareness 17 syllables at a time.
Now for today's drought news…
Views to a bill:
- Environmentalists, politicians and water managers all gathered in the capitol yesterday to try to break a deadlock on a water bond. Matt Weiser reports that they presented five demands for such a bond before they'll support it:
House Speaker John Boehner joined a trio of California GOP members in the Central Valley to push for certain environmental regulations to be set aside during the drought.
Monday's news sends condolences to California Chrome for the Triple Crown, reminders to the Bay Area to save water, and warnings to Congress about its legislation. (Dear Chrome: Your owner is not your fault. We know you tried.)
- The LA Times editorial board opines on the Congressional efforts to pass drought legislation. The board concludes that reconciling a House Republican sponsored bill that aims to undermine the Endangered Species Act with a Senate bill sponsored by Democrat Dianne Feinstein is a bad idea for California. It also makes arguments against the kind of bills it seems federal lawmakers like to work on during a drought time anyway. Dear Congress:
Any progress California hopes to make in attaining sustainable solutions to its long-term water crisis requires a great deal of trust on the part of all factions that science and expertise, and not politics, will govern day-to-day decisions about how much water is needed to protect a salmon run, for example, and how much can be diverted to farms. Changing rules that by all appearances are working sends a signal that Congress rather than water experts may at any moment take charge of the state's competing water needs. (LA Times)