The gist of the ACWD’s presentation was that while California is under a drought overall, the ACWD is doing so well in terms of water supply that they have even shut down one of their facilities.
Residents have been good about heeding the call to save water. The reductions seen in water usage for 2014 weren’t that great but they did improve significantly in 2015 by comparison. I could relate to this as I made some changes to my water usage in 2014 but it wasn’t until last year that I really changed my sprinkler system to conserve more. (It now only is used for my food crops.) I also think the work the District did in getting people to conserve will continue to reap benefits as people’s habits have permanently changed for the better.
While there are many reasons to oppose rampant residential development, it looks like water supply isn’t one of those reasons according to the ACWD. New development uses fixtures that are far more conserving than older homes. Newer homes simply use a lot less water as a result. Also, most newer development is quite dense resulting in less outdoor landscaping. This is where most older homes use most of their water. ACWD has planned for significant future growth and has the facilities to accommodate a significant amount of new demand.
If you’re interested in reading more about the State’s water supply I recommend the State website below. It shows the status of the big reservoirs throughout the state. Lake Shasta, the biggest reservoir was at 29% before this rainy season but is now at 53%. Also available from this site is snow pack data which is currently well above average for this time of year. While we’re not out of the drought, we’re at least having a pretty wet year.
See all of the State reservoir sites at the California Data Exchange Site.