Take Action Against the Drought & Easily Cut Water Use
Posted by Climate Resolve on February 12, 2014
With California’s drought taking center stage in the media lately, it’s important to recognize that all Angelenos and Californians alike can take immediate action to reduce water usage in our everyday lives. While LADWP offers incentives to remove water-sucking grass lawns, we want to show you some easy ways you can reduce your water usage starting right now.
Even if researchers can’t directly connect this drought with climate change, Californians can use this water emergency as a ‘dry run’ to help us plan for more water conservation in the future. The science is clear: as annual temperatures increase over the coming decades, Los Angeles will see lower annual snowpack and soil moisture — and it will be essential to conserve even more in the later part of the 21st century.
But, first, let’s clear the air about water usage in Los Angeles. Over the past few years, LA has become a leading example of policies and actions to reduce water usage while fostering sustainability in a major metropolitan area. Residents in the City of Los Angeles use an average of 152 gallons of water a day — which is below the state average of 196 gallons (not including agricultural uses). Throughout the region, these numbers vary from the lowest in Compton (106 gpd) to the high of Beverly Hills (285 gpd).
Although the region is ahead of the curve on water conservation, we do have one dirty secret you may have heard before: “Los Angeles imports its water from across the state and that’s not sustainable.” It’s true — Los Angeles imports 71% of its water. But, if that number seems high, consider that San Francisco imports over 99% of its water and New York City imports 100% of its water.
Most major cities, with their large and dense population, have to import water — and Los Angeles is no exception. But, climate studies are predicting hotter annual temperatures and less soil moisture in the coming decades — and everyone will be expected to conserve more water. Climate Resolve believes we can use this severe drought to re-double our efforts at reducing our water usage in preparation for the tough times ahead.
For the typical Angeleno, the biggest water-waster is right out our front doors – our lawns. If you own your home (and have a lawn) LADWP provides incentives — up to $2/sq ft to remove grass and turf and replace it with drought-resistant plantings.
While the tips below won’t make quite as big an impact on your water bill, we’ve selected a few simple ways to help further reduce your water — that you can start doing this minute. Take a look, and then share with your friends on Facebook or Twitter to show how they can join you in helping make California more resilient in the face of a changing climate.