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THE DROUGHT IS OVER – GOOD NEWS OR BAD NEWS

Valleycrest win

This week Governor Jerry Brown declared the drought for California was officially over. I have seen other periodicals and headlines proclaim the same great news. However, I can’t help but wonder if the news is good or bad.

At first glance, it’s reasonable to consider the news good. It would be really good news if the drought was over due to a combination of wet weather and excellent conservation practices. Unfortunately, as I read the articles, I see news about the snow pack, but not efficient irrigation practices. As we know, conditions can change dramatically in a short period of time. Remember, in early 2006 California has record rains. Then in 2007 we had drought emergencies in both Kings and Riverside Counties. This was the lead in to the drought that just ended. My concern is that people will relax on their conservation efforts and start wasting water again. The 20 by 2020 initiative has been widely publicized in California, and I believe people were starting to see water go from invisible to invaluable.

The press has a responsibility to report the news accurately. The drought ending in California is big and important news to people all over the West. So I am not expecting the press gloss over or skip the news completely. My frustration lies in the lack of emphasis on statements like, “Brown nonetheless urged Californians not to abandon thrifty water habits: IT IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED that all Californians continue to minimize water usage and engage in water conservation efforts.” This came from an online article in the LA Times, but I had to make several extra clicks to locate it.

So the drought ending just made our water conservation jobs a little harder.  We need to collectively get the word out a little louder.  I recently was quoted in the Irrigation Association electronic newsletter as saying, “The key is we have to get the message out, and some people are not getting the message.”  You can see the entire article here.

The article was mainly a follow-up to the smart irrigation month award ValleyCrest won last year and I took the opportunity to be more vocal about saving water today in spite of the drought ending. I encourage all of you to be tireless in your efforts to promote reduction of water use, and to continue our efforts to develop new technologies to conserve water.

You can also read the article here about the drought ending in the LA Times blog.

 

Richard Restuccia

Richard Restuccia is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. As the Director for Water Management Solutions at ValleyCrest, Richard is our spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees including the Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee for the Irrigation Association, the San Diego Water Conservation Action Committee and was a founding member of the Central Control Users’ Group in the Central Valley of California.

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COMMENT (1)

  1. Thursday, 7:19 Alan Harris

    While in LA this week 2 systems passed through and we had rain on consecutive days in May! Not only is the drought over, we may need to start thinking about building an ark. Seriously though people will soon forget the best practices they implemented during the drought and it will be more difficult to get people to spend money on water management improvements. No rain today in LA so we are 1 day into what could be the start of the next drought.

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