Gov. Brown Declares Drought Emergency in California – Urges Conservation

January 17, 2014 · 87 comments

drought

Gov. Jerry Brown today proclaimed a drought state of emergency in what is expected to be the driest year on record in California.

Brown ordered state agencies to take actions to prepare for emergency conditions and called on Californians to reduce water consumption voluntarily by 20 percent.

“We have to recognize this is not a partisan adversary,” Brown said at a news conference in his office at the State Building in San Francisco.

“This is Mother Nature. We have to live within the resources we have,” the governor said.

Brown’s proclamation says state water supplies have dipped to “alarming levels,” with mountain snowpacks at 20 percent of normal for this time of year, reduced surface flow in rivers and significant drops in reservoir and groundwater levels.

The proclamation includes a series of executive orders requiring state agencies to aid affected farmers and communities by expediting water transfers and releasing stored water from reservoirs.

State agencies were also ordered to develop water conservation plans. The Department of Forestry will hire additional seasonal firefighters, Brown said.

Brown said he hopes to get federal aid to deal with the drought but said he did not know specifically what that aid might be.

Brown said he hopes the environmental analysis of his Delta Plan, which proposes two 35-mile tunnels to divert water to Central and Southern California, will speed up. Some conservationists and local officials have opposed the plan.

Brown said allocating water in California entails conflicts between northern and southern and urban and rural parts of the state, but said, “We all depend on one another.”

California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said he welcomed the proclamation.

Wenger urged Brown to lead a campaign for increased water storage facilities to provide more flexibility in the face of volatile weather patterns.

“Conservation alone won’t solve our chronic water supply problems. California must commit to improve its water system,” Wenger said in a statement.

Outside the State Building, a group of about 25 members of several environmental groups chanted and carried signs urging Brown to end fracking in California. Fracking, the hydraulic fracturing of underground rock to release oil, uses millions of gallons of water.

David Turnbull, campaigns director for Oil Change International, said, “To allow water-intensive fracking for oil to continue in a drought is to deny the reality of what California’s farmers and communities are facing every day.”

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1 Democrats Don't Give A Dam January 17, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Typical Jerry Brown and his environmental extremist allies in the Democrat party. Protest, fight, litigate against dam building for decades – now what?

I hope California voters wake up to the disastrous mis-management this state is experiencing under single party rule.

2 Ben Dover January 17, 2014 at 12:49 PM

KISS IT crazy uncle Jerry!

3 PH Dad January 17, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Reuse the slogan from when Moonbeam was in office the first time.

“If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s Brown, flush it down!”

4 Thank Gov Brown January 17, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Glad you’re on top of this

5 Anon January 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Some stupid farmer on tv last wanted all his water and mine too. I don’t think so.

6 Theo January 17, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Many current Claycordians were not citizens during the 1977-1978 historic drought. This link will give them an idea of what we had to endure:

The California Drought 1976-77 – A Two Year History – YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZXeEktMYLM

At this time Governor Brown is asking for a voluntary 20% water usage reduction.

There appears to be an attitude in our neighborhood that the rains will come and there will be plenty of water for everyone. I certainly hope they are right! Vehicles continue to be washed regularly with water running down the gutters along with excess watering of lawns. Long showers continue to be popular according to neighborhood discussions about water conservation. If we have a repeat of the 1977-1978 drought, individuals who are oblivious of what could happen, in the very near future, will be shocked at how difficult and annoying potential restrictions will impact their daily lives. (Brown, dying landscaping, when to flush toilets, avoid using dish washers, use gray water to water plants, no washing of vehicles and windows, short showers, water districts keeping a close eye on excessive water users and even issuing fines, use the washing machine wisely, etc.)

7 Anon January 17, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Hey maybe we should stop building. Like at the Navy Weapon Station. Where is that water going to come from?

8 KJ January 17, 2014 at 1:13 PM

I’d rather conserve water now than find myself without any water to drink later on.

It’s not as though it takes a lot of effort to turn off a faucet while brushing one’s teeth, take a quick shower, or “let it mellow.” The way some people complain you’d think they are couch potatoes suddenly being told they have to run a marathon.

Make conserving water a game: Check to see how many gallons you are currently using and each month use less; see how low you can go!

9 Well.. January 17, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Hopefully this will stop the Delta Tunnels also. We are already going to see lower levels because of no snow. Can you imagine what it would be like with 2 40 ft diameter tunnels diverting to L.A.?

And I agree with Anon# 7. Stop building houses. The bay area has too many residents as it is.

10 Incognito January 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

As part of this water conservation effort, I would like to see the water districts start targeting businesses, commercial property owners who waste water by not fixing issues within their buildings!

For four years I worked for a Leak Detection company. It was my experience when Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner get their first abnormally high water bill, they clearly know they have a water leak or an issue with high water usage and, therefore, they fix the problem.

I can’t tell you how many commercial buildings I’ve been in where the toilets are running constantly, water faucets are dripping continuously, and the list goes on. A few years back when we were in a drought, I visited a camp ground near Lake Amador. One of their women’s restrooms had leaking toilets and leaking faucets – I, personally, turned the water off to the sink and the toilet.

There’s a lot more to water conservation than not flushing your toilet every time you take a pee.

11 Blink January 17, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Will golf courses ever go brown?
Conservation by all is legit….and use of gray water a way to excercise… carried out bath water for garden and used it for flushing wasn’t that difficult

12 VikingPrincess January 17, 2014 at 1:45 PM

@Theo
Good clip, find oneself trying to figure out where and what is being filmed. Very 70s. Shasta dam, lake and Mt Shasta with not much snow this year BTW.

The clip pointed out that being water conserving conscious would eventually be part of California society. This is sooo true. When was the last time you saw water running regularly in the street gutters? It was almost a lifestlye back then, especially in the summer.

So, considering how much we save now, hard to imagine how much more to cut back? So many machines set up to conserve energy and water. Low flow toilets. Eat on paper plates? Shower with two people may apply. Hmmm..guess I’ll have to get my thinking cap on.

13 T Party January 17, 2014 at 1:50 PM

There’s no such things as those droughts… read noahs ark, there was alot of water there. Science is evil

14 Cowellian January 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

In the land of sun and fun,
we don’t flush for number one!

15 Ted K., Supermax January 17, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Weather and climate are cyclical… we’re back to 1976-1977.

Water districts will say that we are saving too much water and raise rates to make up for their shortfall in revenue. Ask any EBMUD customer.

16 More Water Storage January 17, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Hey government, what are the plans for increasing water storage so we can hold more during the wet years? It’s called planning, duh. As the population increases we need more water storage. So again, what are the plans beside protecting the red legged frog…

For you that say quit building, why stop there, let’s outlaw procreation!

Will some of you join me in creating BAWSD (Bay Area Water Saving District)? I’ll give you 200K a year, plus a car and health care for life. We’ll put out radio ads ‘spare the water’! Ask people to turn in their neighbors for taking long showers and brushing their teeth with the water running. Any takers?

17 Sacto Rob January 17, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Cancel High Speed Rail.
Shift the resources to building more reservoirs and raising those we have. (Shasta Dam was originally designed to be 200 feet higher with triple its capacity, but was scaled back during construction because the concrete was needed elsewhere for the war effort.)
Finish building the California Water Project as it was designed and you’ll fix the Delta damage at the same time.
The solutions are available and affordable. What’s missing is the political courage to do the right thing.

18 WC Boy January 17, 2014 at 2:09 PM

LA needs to stop relying on Northern CA water and build desalinization plants ASAP. I have spoken

19 VikingPrincess January 17, 2014 at 2:12 PM

@more water storage
OK sounds great. When do I start? I have no problem taking minutes and would be happy to offer my expertise in voice overs for the PSA’s. Been the voice of a few local bay area stations’s call signs.

OK… ready set..

20 Kiss SoCal Goodbye January 17, 2014 at 2:13 PM

I say we divide this state, and So. Cal has to find it’s own water.

21 jtkatec January 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

May be true or untrue, but residents of Sacramento don’t pay anything for water….. so what’s their incentive to conserve.

22 can not do it January 17, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Our family can not conserve water by 20% as we have no lawn already in our yard and all the plants we have are drought resistant. We water our plants by hand once a twice a week in summer. We never use our big bathtub, we do not have a pool, our dishwasher and washer are both Energy Star certified etc… We hope we do not get punished because we do not conserve by 20%… It will not be fair.

23 Water Police January 17, 2014 at 2:19 PM

I agree with More Water Storage. We need “Spare The Water”. Neighbors should be able to call a number and turn in their neighbors if they see them washing their cars, watering their lawns etc. At first they would receive a warning and after that fines. This will include golf courses and parks.

24 @18 January 17, 2014 at 2:22 PM

I might be wrong, but I heard that water district has to buy the equal size land when they build a new reservoir to protect environment. That will be very expensive to everyone.
Can anyone confirm this ?

25 VikingPrincess January 17, 2014 at 2:27 PM

What a minute

The article indicates FRACKING as a contributor. Requires large amounts of water to drill for oil. Why aren’t they using recycled water? The idea and concept has already been developed. I know because I met the guy selling the idea in the 80s. Did it flop? Any engineers that know what happened to this model. It does exist.

26 mutts January 17, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Good idea, divide CA. In the meantime I’d like Gov. Moonbeam to send home some illegals and I can have their water. Do you really think they care about conservation?

27 ClayDen January 17, 2014 at 2:49 PM

@21

Works for me. We’ll take Santa Barbara and everything north of it.

28 Antler January 17, 2014 at 3:04 PM

#19, that’s a good idea! The tunnel project must be stopped and a better long term solution found. Desalination plants both in our Bay Area and down south would provide just as many jobs as the high speed rail, and I believe at a lower cost than that of building taller dams and replacing existing conduits all the way from reservoirs cross-country to the more highly-populated areas.

Also, washing dishes by hand uses more water than running a full load in the dishwasher does!!! Advisories from water district confirmed that. For pots and pans, put just a bit of cold tap water and detergent in and then heat up with boiling water from the tea kettle.

I just looked for the stack of plastic buckets we used during the last big drought to catch all the cold water which is normally wasted when I’m waiting for the water to get hot…..no go….have to head down to the hardware store for new ones. Those who did not experience the previous drought will be shocked to see how much water you really can save using this pre-capture trick.

Some of our friends have showers which are not part of a tub-combo. During the last drought, they stood in large plastic bins and then used bucket brigade to transfer water to toilet and/or to outdoor container plants.

Fortunately, we have a well for landscape irrigation, and it never went dry during the last drought; but this drought is worse. Perhaps Nicole will tell us in her Garden Girl column about some very drought-resistant but colorful plants we can plant where grass used to be.

29 So here go the rates January 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

for water, just like last time. Save 20% rates go up 50%.

And when water is plentiful again, the rates do not come down.

30 VikingPrincess January 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Lots of information

Mostly SoCal

http://ftp.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=California_and_fracking

Water use is massive and risk assessment lacking

http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2013/05/02/nearly-half-of-fracking-happens-in-places-short-on-water/

I’m not an engineer or a geologist but it is of concern.

31 Anonymous January 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

I’n 76-77 when Concord residents were rationed to 125 gallons a day the local tv stations sent crews to LA where they filmed people washing their cars because their rationing wasn’t mandatory. Now Brown an DeSaulnier want to dig huge tunnels to send more water from here to – LA

32 Used to be that people who had January 17, 2014 at 3:16 PM

water wells on their property could use that water for things other than the lawn and plants. Once treated, well water could be used for laundry, washing cars and perhaps even washing dishes. That would take a huge strain off of drinking water.

Culligan still around?

33 @Well.. #9 January 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Not a chance, listening to the news driving home from work moonbeam is running his mouth, pushing HIS water project. It’s already on the ballot for this November. Sit back and watch democrats really push for it.
We will end up drinking SALT WATER and SF Bay will end up as an unflushed toilet …. as democrat campaign contributors end up with our water.

34 Sacrament Residents have NOT had to pay for water January 17, 2014 at 3:32 PM

This is cut from the Sacto’s Water dept.

“In 2005, the City of Sacramento began one of the most significant capital improvement projects in its history: Install more than 110,000 water meters by 2025 and transition customers to a metered rate, as required by State law.

This is no easy task. With the City’s aging infrastructure, many of these installations also include relocating leaky water mains from customers’ backyards to the street. In addition, the State law requiring water meters provided no funding to help offset costs.

Despite these challenges, the City has made steady progress over the past several years with both installing meters and securing outside funding to help accelerate the program and minimize the financial burden on our customers.

The City of Sacramento is dedicated to making the water meter installation process and transition to metered rates as smooth as possible for our customers while complying with the State mandate. And, as the City continues to move forward with installing meters, we want you to be prepared. “

35 nytemuvr January 17, 2014 at 3:45 PM

@jtkatec #22
It was like that for years, all houses in Sacramento have meters now. We have some people on welfare here that use all the water they want because the state pays their water bill, no incentive there.
Also way back when Rancho Murietta electric plant was running, some Sacramento folks actually got money back each month from SMUD(Sacramento Municipal Utility District) if they sold enough electricity to other cities, may old-time neighbors tell me. A “back in the old days” story.

36 jp5air January 17, 2014 at 3:48 PM

The population of California in 1977, the last big drought year, was about 22 Million. Today it’s over 38 Million. Have we increased our water storage capacity by 75% since then? I would think the answer is no. Our reserves will go alot faster this time.

37 Anon2you January 17, 2014 at 4:00 PM

On this I am unanimous… Spare the WATER! No rain, no snow this winter so far has been the driest and warmest I ever remember. So, I can get behind this and I do agree with a previous post, better to conserve now and have some H2O for later.

38 @jp5air January 17, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Instead of more storage we need to invest in alternative sources. Like recylced water or desallnation plants.

We can’t build enough storage for a population that increases by 75% every 40 years or so. Nor could we fill the necessary storage.

39 Crazy Uncle Jerry Brown January 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

I now must make it a law : you MUST drink your own urine! No fresh water for you!

40 See Jane January 17, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Can not do it raises a valid point. What about those of us who already took out our lawns and conserve water as a daily habit? I am sure my household can do better, but twenty percent is a tall order.

41 Rob January 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

If only all of the Right Wingers who keep yelling how much they hate California would only move to the Red State of their Dreams there would be more water to go around.

Please, Right Wingers, move already, get out and move to one of the Red State Conservative Dreams – perhaps Mississippi or Alabama or Texas – no need to be miserable in California one of those great Red States would be more then happy to welcome you into their loving small government nanny-free embrace.

42 Always Right January 17, 2014 at 5:03 PM

@antler – glad you agree with me that coastal cities need desalinization plants. Problem is, every reasonable attempt to build gets shut down by the environmentalists and their allies in th democrat party.

I know you are a democrat. Maybe you can call your party leaders and tell them to get out of the way and let local water districts build desal plants and water storage?

43 can not do it January 17, 2014 at 5:27 PM

We have no lawn, all our plants are drought resistant, we water them
by hose once or twice a week in summer, we do not have a pool, we do not use a bathtub, both our washer and dishwasher are
one of the most water efficient models.
It is hard for us to cut back by 20%.
If we get punished by not conserving, it would be unfair.

44 Yhe Phantom January 17, 2014 at 5:35 PM

[Went Fishing]

45 Yhe Phantom January 17, 2014 at 5:35 PM

[No fish]

46 Always Right January 17, 2014 at 5:36 PM

@Rob – sorry but I can’t leave. Too many kids and grand kids here. Besides, why should I have to leave? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the people causing the problems to leave, rather than those of us tax paying, law abiding conservatives?

47 Yhe Phantom January 17, 2014 at 5:36 PM

[No water]

48 Yhe Phantom January 17, 2014 at 5:36 PM

[No snow]

49 Yhe Phantom January 17, 2014 at 5:36 PM

[The only white stuff was]

50 Yhe Phantom January 17, 2014 at 5:37 PM

[Burma Shave]

51 Just saying January 17, 2014 at 5:48 PM

does the water have to run all day at BoatWright Fields?, I walked my dog through there a number of times today and not once was the water not running!

52 Julio January 17, 2014 at 6:06 PM

You can’t “store water” if it has not snowed or rained so that is out.

Brown should have done this two months ago. Instead he waits until 1 day after the Feds tell him to. Which ones of you elected this guy again?

53 Ted K., SuperMax January 17, 2014 at 6:06 PM

“This is Mother Nature. We have to live within the resources we have,” the governor said.

IT’S INTERESTING THAT LIBERALS DON’T BELIEVE WE HAVE TO LIVE WITHIN THE FISCAL RESOURCES WE HAVE.

Instead it’s tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend….Add waste, fraud, and abuse to the mix and it about sums up the left’s philosophy. Actually, add “freebies” for illegals and it there you have it.

Water rates will increase because of this “crisis”. Wait for it.

54 Miguel January 17, 2014 at 6:47 PM

We need rain. I’d get fined if we went on water rationing. Gotta wash my truck.

55 . January 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM

What CA needs is fewer people, start with the illegals.

56 Good heart January 17, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Maybe southern Cal needs to pay for water by meter rate like we do! Maybe also our oh so wonderful governor needs to get on top of water planning and storage for Southern Cals needs! We pay more, will get less, they pay less and probably won’t ration! Anyone see the problem in this!

57 Well... January 17, 2014 at 6:55 PM

At one point, EMAD was supposed to be turning the old C & Hey plant into a desalination plant.

If they take all the money to be spent on tunnels and trains and put it into desalting plants in several zones, just think of all the jobs that could be for all Califonians. Enough water to help the fruits and veggies and they could package and sell the “sea salt”. We could once again be the most prosperous state in the union!

58 Gov. MoonBeam January 17, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Just as I said in 1976 concerning the use of toilet water…”If it’s Yellow let it Mellow…If it’s Brown Flush it Down”….To Quote My Dad..”This is the Worst Disater to Hit California, Since I was elected Governor!”

59 No real discussion ... January 17, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Now I know why there isn’t much going on
in the other threads. It’s a Gov.Brown bash
fest here. None of you have any idea of
the depth of your ignorance.

60 Our Gov.is a joke January 17, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Glad I did not vote for that stupid ass.

61 VikingPrincess January 17, 2014 at 8:42 PM

And the after Dinner beer kicked in

Stay tuned…

62 JLG January 17, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Way to many people not enough water. At some point even with good rainfall we will have to great a population to sustain our needs.

63 Killjoy January 17, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Why don’t we start, by stopping sending all our water to LA?

64 jules January 17, 2014 at 9:41 PM

As usual the idiots turn this into yet another opportunity for puerile political posturing.

Here’s a practical tip for everyone to save some water without even noticing.
Take an empty bottle of water like crystal geyser, refill with water from the faucet and replace the lid. Put the bottle into the water tank of your toilet and use the equivalent amount less water with each flush due to the displacement.
It soon adds up and you won’t even notice a difference

65 Whatever January 17, 2014 at 9:47 PM

We can’t cut back at our house. We have had a well on our property for over 20 years, and we already conserve. This is going to be interesting.

66 Dr. Jellyfinger January 17, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Well……. I’m doing my part to conserve water. From now on it’s straight Bourbon, neat! No water, no ice. I suggest the rest of you follow suit……… of course drinking the Ol’ Jim Beam straight might make for some slightly higher BA levels out there and cause an increase in fire hydrant vs automobile incidents which I’m absolutely certain is the real reason our reservoirs are all drying up! so… never mind, I guess.

67 Got water for us January 18, 2014 at 6:26 AM

During that ’77- ’78 drought, we all had to or were supposed to put washers in our faucet head, Put bricks in the backs or our toilets, were told not wash our cars or our lawns. (contra costa water district office even gave out “free” water dams for our toilets)
But guess what? Down in So. Cal. contractors were building homes and apartments like crazy and golf courses or country clubs and they had all the water they needed to fill in the water traps and fill pools.
I just wonder how the neighborhoods within a Owners Assn. will handle dead lawns?

68 Horse'n Around January 18, 2014 at 7:16 AM

We have a well also. So far it has never run dry. Is there anything besides watering the lawn and plants that you can use well water for? Found out the hard way many yrs. ago, you can’t wash your car with it.

69 Hey Princess January 18, 2014 at 8:51 AM

That beer after dinner must have put you to sleep like the a good little Viking.

http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/drink.shtml

70 @ Dr. Jellyfinger # 68 January 18, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I’m with you!
But,
Its for sipping not guzzling. Go slow and enjoy more.

http://www.jimbeam.com/black/about-jim-beam-black

71 Hey Culligan Man!!! January 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

There are numerous water purification systems on the market that will make the local well water potable.

I believe the city has an ordinance prohibiting using well water instead of MUD water.

I would hope that the City Council would be flexible enough to suspend such a city ordinance during an emergency such as this.

If people want to use untreated well water as drinking water, then they deserve what they get.

72 I am no expert January 18, 2014 at 9:19 AM

but I believe the groundwater under Concord is supplied by the Sacramento River.

Chances of that water drying up are slim, and if it does we have a lot more to worry about than how many times we can shower in a day.

73 macawlady January 18, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I would welcome suggestions. We have no lawn but lots of shrubs and roses. I’ve been watering with a bucket. We also have a lime tree that requires deep watering every once in a while. Buckets just won’t cut it in that case. What do I do? Can’t NOT water or plants will die & homeowners assoc. will be all over us. Blah. Can’t win for trying.

74 @ # 73 January 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Have you ever drank well water? It is the best water for you. It has no chemicals in it that is put into our drinking water. I grew up on well water. The only thing you cannot use well water for is chlorinated swimming pools.

75 VikingPrincess January 18, 2014 at 11:27 AM

#71 – good reads, thank you
Although my comment was more related to the contrast between the two previous posts 61 & 62. As if 61 had a tasty adult beverage and posted 62….a little late nite tired wacky tongue in cheek.

Not a much of a beer drinker myself but if I had to I’d choose Newcastle.

Thanks for the read ;)

76 VikingPrincess January 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Socal practically has seasonal state of emergency fires =water
Socal and Central Valley has crops and in the last decade has fancied after Northern Californias Sonoma and Napa wine industry = water
Socal and Central Valley coast is home of Monterey shale for oil drilling and other sorts = water.
Anything else? Please add

Although I do like a good Paso Robles or SLO Valley wine ;)

77 KAD January 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

We will not be able to cut by 20% because we have not been in the house for about 6 months out of the year. If we are there and not away, we will be using more, not less, water. We will be unduly punished.

I remember the 76-77 drought. Used the rinse water from dishes to wash the clothes.

Oh, and you had better stay out of Marin country unless you want to use an outhouse.

78 IEatBabyUnicorns January 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

WTF is the Latino Water Coallition & why should the governor give a flying f@$# what they think?

Oh…that’s right…

79 @culligan January 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

To call those systems “purifiers” is a misnomer.

To be a purifier it must be able to take biologically unsafe water and make it safe. Many systems are referred to ,by sales people, as purifiers. They are filters that have a percentage of removal for each element. Sodium 99.5% arsenic 40%.

Even distillation units improperly cared for are no guarantee of purified water.

If I were going to try and drink water from a well in my backyard that was only 50 ft deep, or even 100 ft. I would want sediment filters, ozone unit, carbon filtration (1cubic ft), to a UV, then through a reverse osmosis unit with a secondary carbon and secondary UV, with specific arsenic and nitrate filters. Even then I would not call the water pure, just clean. The cost and electrical consumption and maintenance costs would be very large.

Ever notice the systems called “pur” pronounced pure. It’s a name not a claim of ability. Legal issues.

The water business has more liars in it than dolphins in a Japanese fishing net.

80 Kirkwood January 18, 2014 at 1:23 PM

WARNING – Readers might the following incredibly boring, feel free to hit the Page Down key now.

Reservoirs – Numerous storage reservoirs (not dams) are needed to collect and store water in the wet years for use in dry spells.

Desalinization – Desalinization plants are frightfully expensive to build and operate, and produce about 1 gallon of processed water for every 4-5 gallons consumed. The waste brine must be disposed of somehow, and when discharged into the ocean, the pollution can create huge dead zones. Many years ago the Livermore Sanitary Dist. built an experimental reverse osmosis plant to filter effluent water and use it to recharge the diminishing aquifer. Local ranchers fought the project with the premise that with anything operated by a government entity, mistakes might occur that could permanently contaminate the aquifer. A reporter with the local newspaper coined the term “toilet to tap” and that was enough put the kibosh on the project and it was abandoned.

Water table – During the construction of the Oakhurst Golf Course test wells were drilled around the area to monitor the water table. The driller working near Lydia Lane Park told me there are 2 aquifers below, a vernal one at 60 – 80’ and a more stable one near 300 – 400’. There are areas of Clayton where drillers have only found dry holes.

Well water – For well owners, CCWD requires double check valves at the meter. They then tack on a monthly “service charge” to the customer. Well water in parts of Ygnacio Valley contains boron, which some plants don’t like.

Fairness – In the 1976 – ’77 drought CCWD asked customers to conserve, which many did. When rationing was imposed the following year, water allocation and penalties were based on a percentage of the amount used in prior years. This gave an unfair advantage to those who had not conserved.

Turn of the century (19th – 20th) expression:
“Whiskey is for drinkin’ and water is for fightin’ over”.

Disclaimer – The information/opinion above is based on personal memory and probably contains errors. No research was done.

81 DoReMi January 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM

“This is Mother Nature. We have to live within the resources we have,” the governor said.

Our politicians have the power to cut our population (and thereby live with in our resources) by closing our borders. They. Will. Not.

82 VikingPrincess January 18, 2014 at 4:23 PM

@Kirkwood
Wow excellent write up!

83 NaNa HeyHey January 18, 2014 at 8:46 PM

The tribe is offering a special on rain dances next week. Only $4.95 per square mile but we require at least a full county minimum order. 10% discount if you use the code “Liwa”

84 RoseQ January 18, 2014 at 11:57 PM

I realize, of course, that attacking LA is just something you have to do for fun, but the claim that Southern California didn’t ration water is mistaken. LA did ration water and reduced their water consumption significantly. San Diego, however, did not ration water or (as far as I recall) reduce the amount of water they used.

The drought of the 70s didn’t hurt Southern California as much as Northern California because So Cal is basically built around a ‘permanent drought’ situation and already had many water storage and contingency plans to meet a temporary drought. Northern California was lacking water storage options at the time and that is a big part of why the drought was so much more painful here. It’s my understanding that’s changed now, largely thanks to the response to the 1970s drought.

Also, the single largest user of water in the state is agriculture, not Southern California residential use. If we want to save lots of water, our best move is to pay farmers to not use it.

85 RoseQ January 19, 2014 at 12:08 AM

Oh – I forgot to mention that another reason the drought was less severe in Southern California in the 1970s is because they were also getting a substantial amount of their water from out of state (the Colorado River) or from well water. In fact, thanks to the rationing, Colorado river water, and well water, the much of the water that was usually delivered to Southern California in state aqueducts was instead redirected to meet the needs of Northern California residents.

86 @RoseQ January 19, 2014 at 6:24 AM

L.A…..San Diego…. same thing. I personally don’t think we should be sending any water to the south. Farmers and ranchers should not be rationed in water.

@ kirkwood- I know a lot of well users, in city limits and ranches/ horse stables that are not charged a monthly fee for using well water.

87 Dr. Jellyfinger January 19, 2014 at 1:16 PM

What? there’s a drought? I thought we were just conserving water. I can end the drought now just by washing my car.

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