Americans are conserving water in their homes like never before, according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report released this month. In per capita terms, domestic water use has plummeted from 112 gallons per day in 1980 to just 82 gallons in 2015, a 27 percent decrease. Take 30 gallon-sized milk jugs, fill them up with water and set them aside — that’s how much water you’re saving, every day, relative to the average American in 1980. For a typical family of four that means about a half-ton of water saved, or eight cubic feet, every single day relative to 1980.
Archive for date: June 25th, 2018
You are now in California and the U.S. Media Coverage category.
An effort to split California into three states may be a good idea to some voters, but it could hurt the region’s complex water system. The Sacramento Bee reported dividing the water system might not be possible. “California has spent more than a century crafting one of the world’s most elaborate — and interdependent — networks for storing, allocating and delivering its water,” the Sacramento Bee reported. “have been poured into reservoirs, pumping stations and aqueducts, mostly to move water from the rainy north to the arid and densely populated south.”
For weeks, there’s been a lot of misinformation on social media about a pair of new state laws that attempt to limit indoor water use in California. For most people, the laws don’t do much more than set a new daily goal for indoor water use of 55 gallons per person, starting in 2022. In San Diego, that goal will be pretty easy to meet. In fact, we probably already meet it. According to the city’s water department, the average person uses 60.3 gallons per day, a figure that includes all water used inside and outside.
The bottom is falling out of America’s most productive farmland. Literally. Swaths of the San Joaquin Valley have sunk 28 feet — nearly three stories — since the 1920s, and some areas have dropped almost 3 feet in the past two years. Blame it on farmers’ relentless groundwater pumping. The plunder of California’s aquifers is a budding environmental catastrophe that scientists warn might spark a worldwide food crisis.
Fear can be a powerful motivator. The mention of one plausible future scenario along the Colorado River is enough to make some water managers in the West break into a sweat. It’s called the Compact Call, and even though it’s never happened — and is years away from ever happening — its invocation conjures up dystopian imagery of a southwest battling over scarce water supplies.
The Senate on Monday approved a $145 billion spending bill to fund the Energy Department and veterans’ programs for the next budget year. The 86-5 vote in favor of the bill sends it back to the House, which approved a similar bill this month. Lawmakers hope to send a unified bill to President Donald Trump as the first of what they hope will be a series of spending bills signed into law before the new budget year begins Oct. 1.
Splitting California into three new states would scramble nearly every segment of government that touches residents’ lives, from taxes to Medi-Cal to driver’s licenses. New agencies would have to be created to operate prisons, highways and universities. CalPERS, CalSTRS, Cal Fire and the California Highway Patrol, to name a few, would have to be reconfigured and replaced. But of all the gargantuan tasks facing Californians should they choose to divide themselves by three — a proposal that has qualified for the November ballot — none is arguably more daunting than carving up the state’s water supply.