Water Woes: Conservation in Western U.S. Falters
November 9, 2016
Water conservation efforts are flagging in parts of California as the state enters a sixth year of drought. Much of the Coachella Valley saw a sharp drop in monthly water savings for a second consecutive month in September.
Customers of the Coachella Valley Water District reduced water use just 4.3 percent in September as compared to the same month in 2013, which state officials are using at a baseline year. A month earlier, the number was 15 percent. Back in July, people reduced water use 28.6 percent.
The Desert Water Agency’s monthly performance has also been waning since customers reduced water use 33.3 percent in June. Last month, they cut back just 8 percent, down from 18.5 percent in August.
The lackluster September performance could reflect drought fatigue and a combination of other factors. The drop-off in water-savings mirrors a trend that has emerged across California since the State Water Resources Control Board relaxed drought measures in May and lifted mandatory conservation targets for cities across the state after a wetter winter.
Statewide water conservation slipped to 17.7 percent in August, down from 20 percent in July. State water board officials have said they will closely monitor conservation each month and will consider whether it’s necessary to return to state-mandated conservation measures next year.
The U.S. Drought Monitor website recently showed that drought conditions still cover nearly 84 percent of the state. About 43 percent of California is still marked on the drought map in red and maroon – denoting the worst categories of “extreme” and “exceptional” drought.
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This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, firstname.lastname@example.org.To read more about plumbing upgrades and water conservation, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/16451FMD.
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