Environment & Science

Stop finger point, PPIC study says about California water

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It's not all your fault, Southern Californians. A new study from the Public Policy Institute of California argues that lush lawns aren't to blame for the state's water crisis. The authors aim to debunk that and other popular misunderstandings about water use.

Average water use per person along the south coast is about the lowest in the state. But the study's authors say you can't blame agriculture for California’s water shortage either. Or endangered species like the delta smelt.

The new report examines water consumption myths to try and improve the quality of public debate. The biggest may be that California's running out of water.

The report’s authors argue that the state's already run out of abundant water: now all that's left to do is adapt to that reality. Building new dams or using less water won't solve the problem, either.

The study does find that legal tools for adapting to water scarcity already exist. The authors point to other studies that suggest lower water use and a good economy can peacefully coexist.

Water reform may not be pretty, they say. Still, they conclude, it'll go down easier if everybody stops pointing fingers at everybody else.