El Nino is anticipated to bring a wet and rainy season to the record droughts that California has faced for over four years. However, one year of rainfall won’t be enough to pull the state out of its serious water woes, and mayors and local community leaders are beginning to search for water solutions. While water policy has traditionally been left to the state and regional water authorities, the situation is slowly evolving.
Throughout the state, conservation has been key, but a constant demand is prompting leaders to pursue alternative supplies. Different cities and regions are opting for solutions that best suit their needs, abilities, and constraints—and local leaders are finding success.
In San Diego, local leaders are moving forward with desalinization strategy that yields the city 50 million gallons per day. In conjunction with diversifying where the city sources its water, and improved efficiency and conservation efforts, desalinization is a strategy that the city believes will ensure a stable water supply into the future.
In Los Angeles, local leaders have pursued a very different strategy. Their focus has been on reclaiming “grey water,” and rethinking how to capture rainfall in order to recharge groundwater supplies.
Los Angeles and San Diego illustrate the many ways in which local leaders can solve local problems. Find out how to best serve your community by joining with a strong coalition of leaders at Path to Positive Communities!
LOS ANGELES — For California, which has endured four years of extraordinary drought, the state's wet season is off to an encouraging start.
High in California's Sierra Nevada, the state's mountainous spine, El Niño-driven storms have piled snow and the meltwater it represents to above-normal levels. At lower elevations, heavy rains are nudging the water in many depleted reservoirs back toward their historical averages.
Whether this spells the beginning of the end to what some researchers have tagged as the state's worst drought in at least 1,200 years remains to be seen. What is clear is that the drought has accelerated the onset of a “new era” of water use in the Golden State, some water-policy specialists say.
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