The drought is over. For now.
After a winter of record-setting rain and snowfall, Governor Jerry Brown declared our five-year dry spell officially over on Friday, April 7.
But just because the lakes and reservoirs are full and some restrictions have been lifted, that doesn’t mean we all should run the kitchen faucet with abandon. Statewide bans on wasteful practices (like hosing down driveways and sidewalks) remain in effect.
The governor said it best: “Conservation must remain a way of life.” In fact, to prepare the state for the next drought and other effects of climate change, five state agencies released a long-term plan to curb water use, called “Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life.” It requires each urban area to create its own targets — within state guidelines — accounting for local climates and other factors.
As we heave a sigh of relief, there are several post-drought realities the Los Angeles Times explains three components of this emergency’s legacy, including compromised forests, ongoing debates on water management, and damaged roads and bridges from the latest storms.
In addition to dealing with the aftermath of this drought, we must continue to protect California’s most precious resource in our daily lives. Heeding the governor’s words, let’s remember these water conservation tips and remind your loved ones as well.
Around the house:
- Fix leaky faucets
- Take shorter showers
- Fill the dishwasher all the way before running it
- If washing dishes by hand, use a wash bin or plug the sink instead of letting the water run
- Turn off outside sprinklers when it rains
Outside the house:
- Adjust sprinklers so only your plants get watered, not sidewalks or driveways
- When washing your car, use a bucket and sponge or a hose with a self-closing nozzle
- Consider changing your landscaping to include California-friendly plants, appropriate for your climate