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Jay Famiglietti: Californians need to get serious about saving water




Tom Underhill stands in his front yard filled with California native plants at his home in Long Beach. Six years ago he replaced the lawn and flowers with draught-tolerant native plants. Underhill and his wife inadvertently received a property tax break of $250 for not using their share of municipal water, he said.
Tom Underhill stands in his front yard filled with California native plants at his home in Long Beach. Six years ago he replaced the lawn and flowers with draught-tolerant native plants. Underhill and his wife inadvertently received a property tax break of $250 for not using their share of municipal water, he said. "I'm sure I have some neighbors that are like 'where is his green lawn,'" he said.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

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California is in the middle of the worst drought in recorded history, but you might not know it just from looking out your window or checking your utility bill.

In many parts of the state, lawns are green, fountains are gushing and cars are sparkling clean. All of this worries hydrologist Jay Famiglietti, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a professor at UC Irvine.