Wednesday, September 19, 2007

California Drought Preparedness

Given the history of short- and long-term drought in California (and the fact that its southern half and most of the Central Valley are naturally semi-arid to desert regions), you'd think there would be an agency in charge of drought mitigation and adaptation. And you'd be right!

The California Rural Water Association provides the Drought Preparedness site, which includes action plans for small towns experiencing water shortages. As they state on their home page,

Drought is a natural occurrence and, unfortunately, one that California is familiar with. In times of drought, those who feel the effects of water shortage the most are small water systems and their customers whose reliance on marginal wells, springs, and small creeks make them especially sensitive to annual rainfall totals. Urban systems are undoubtedly spared compared to their smaller community counterparts.
The site provides ideas and guidelines for localities with various water sources and recommendations for water conservation and disaster management. The content has obviously been updated in light of the recent conditions in Southern California, and wisely suggests that planning be updated. A recent law passed by the California Legislature requires all users of publicly-provided water sources have water meters in order that water conservation measures can be made more effective.

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