In Los Angeles, the amount of rainfall between 1897 and 1899 equaled 12.65 inches. That lack of rain record was broken during the past two years, with only 11.93 inches of rainfall. This comparison clearly shows the seriousness of the situation that California is in.
Angelenos are familiar with the importance of saving water. Our city can feel good about its efforts on this. The daily per capita consumption decreased from a peak of 187 gallons in fiscal year 1987 to 122 gallons in fiscal year 2011.
We must be proud of being a leading city in water savings. Today, with an additional 1 million residents, demand has decreased compared to the 1970s.
However, that is not enough. On the one hand, consumption has gone up; for example, last year, it increased to 129 gallons. On the other, the current crisis is extreme, the worst that has ever been measured. Estimates show that nearly 80% of California is experiencing extreme drought conditions.
This means that more water must be saved. The current strategy is to decrease the amount of water used for plant and lawn watering, which consumes 40% to 60% of our region’s drinking water. The city now has a program of economic incentives to replace grass with other materials that do not need watering. Let’s take advantage of it.
At the same time, a state initiative for November that will help provide water to the agricultural sector and to Southern California is still under discussion in Sacramento. In addition, some people estimate that El Niño, the oceanic phenomenon that has at times brought rain to California, is approaching.
Hopefully all of this will happen. In the meanwhile, it is up to users to decrease consumption. Homes in Los Angeles already showed that they can use water responsibly, and now it is time to prove that we can save even more of this precious liquid.