Use it or lose it” is what state and federal water managers in California are wrestling with as one of the biggest precipitation years has the mountains packed with snow and reservoirs loaded to the brim. For the state, water is liquid gold that feeds many people, animals, trees, and industries. But, if not well managed, it can also present great danger.
When California’s historic drought mandated that residents take shorter showers, cut back on watering their lawns and give up washing their cars, folks in San Jose did their part to save water. At the start of the drought in 2014, then Gov. Jerry Brown set down a 20 percent reduction target (from 2013 levels) for urban water suppliers. San Jose Water Company hit the mark every year from 2015 to 2018. Further, the water company put in place a “critical water reduction plan” in order to meet a 30 percent water-use reduction goal set by the Santa Clara Valley Water District and residents nearly achieved that goal during 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.