OT - Water restriction

User Forum Topic
Submitted by AN on April 2, 2015 - 11:59am

Who's going to cut their water usage by 25%? What are your thoughts on this issue?

Why not just raise the price of water (including farmers). Wouldn't that a natural way to get people to conserve? I also heard an interesting fact that farms in CA use about 70% of the water and 50% of the remaining 30% are used for landscaping. Maybe we should just ban farming in CA all together. Wouldn't that solve the drought issue over night?

I personally just cut over 25% of my water use last night. I dropped my sprinkler watering time to only 5 minutes a week. A year ago, I converted to Buffalo grass, which is drought tolerant. So, my yard will still be green, yet, I'm using a fraction of what I used to use when it was the typical Tall Fescue.

Submitted by livinincali on April 2, 2015 - 12:29pm.

AN wrote:
Maybe we should just ban farming in CA all together. Wouldn't that solve the drought issue over night?

Give up $45 billion in annual farm revenue and the taxes that generates.

I guess we don't need any of these ingredients anymore as CA is the bulk producer of the US production for these things.

A small list but not inclusive of everything.

99% of the artichokes
98% of the garlic
95% broccoli
94% celery
85% lettuce
85% spinach
96% tomatoes
99% almonds
88% avocados
96% olives
etc.

http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_S...

Submitted by FlyerInHi on April 2, 2015 - 1:20pm.

Very good points, AN... but farmers have historic legal superior water rights. We should pass legislation to undo that.

I feel a little guilty because I have a very nice tropical rain showerhead without water flow restrictor.

As far a food, we can import what we need. Give the business to Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil. the water is better used in tech research and manufacturing.

Adam Smith said something like that.. Don't try to make Porto in England.

Or maybe buy water from Canada. Build a water pipeline.

Submitted by AN on April 2, 2015 - 1:53pm.

Apple alone produced ~$55B in revenue in ONE QUARTER. So, yeah, $45B is a drop in a bucket. Especially when it consumes 70% of our water.

It's not that we don't need those ingredients, but to use 70% of our water for those ingredients? Wouldn't it be better served to grow those ingredients in other areas that don't have water issues? Maybe, instead of banning, we'll let the free market work it out. Charge farmer the same rate as everyone else.

Submitted by AN on April 2, 2015 - 1:56pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Or maybe buy water from Canada. Build a water pipeline.
I've read an article recently about a pipeline from Alaska to CA. The cost is way too high. It's cheaper to desalinate and brown water. Maybe we can do brown water system for the farms and leave the fresh water for people. If we spend $20B and build 20 desalination plants like the one in Carlsbad, I think we'll have our supply taken care of. But I think we should charge farmers for the same rate as the rest of us for those water as well.

Submitted by bearishgurl on April 2, 2015 - 2:04pm.

AN wrote:
FlyerInHi wrote:
Or maybe buy water from Canada. Build a water pipeline.
I've read an article recently about a pipeline from Alaska to CA. The cost is way too high. It's cheaper to desalinate and brown water. Maybe we can do brown water system for the farms and leave the fresh water for people. If we spend $20B and build 20 desalination plants like the one in Carlsbad, I think we'll have our supply taken care of. But I think we should charge farmers for the same rate as the rest of us for those water as well.

I don't know about you, AN, but I don't want to pay $5-$20 lb for produce. I feel fortunate to have the access we do to relatively cheap produce. Folks who live in the nation's midsection aren't so lucky.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on April 2, 2015 - 2:42pm.

You don't have to produce locally to have low price.
Produce from Mexico is just as good.

I drink one fresh coconut per day (don't want canned) during the LA port strike, coconuts from Thailand doubled in price or were hard to find. Otherwise you can buy a case of a dozen for about $10. Cheaper than the cans

Submitted by AN on April 2, 2015 - 3:00pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
I don't know about you, AN, but I don't want to pay $5-$20 lb for produce. I feel fortunate to have the access we do to relatively cheap produce. Folks who live in the nation's midsection aren't so lucky.

What make you think it'll be $5-20? Also, you'll be paying a lot more for the same amount of water than the price increase in produce.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on April 2, 2015 - 3:02pm.

The per unit price of water will skyrocket. Water agencies have bills, employees and pensions to pay.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on April 2, 2015 - 3:23pm.

I saw an article on Geo engineering where they proposed taking medium sized boats (maybe 40 foot)
And putting high pressure pumps and spray ocean water a few thousand feet in the air a few hundred miles off the coast of California.

I say give that a try.
(although we may get permanent June gloom)

A billion dollars should be enough for say a few hundred of these boats for a several year (trial).

Submitted by AN on April 2, 2015 - 3:25pm.

The-Shoveler wrote:
I saw an article on Geo engineering where they proposed taking medium sized boats (maybe 40 foot)
And putting high pressure pumps and spray ocean water a few thousand feet in the air a few hundred miles off the coast of California.

I say give that a try.
(although we may get permanent June gloom)

A billion dollars should be enough for say a few hundred of these boats for a several year (trial).


At this point, I think any option is better than rationing. We should think outside the box. Instead of trying to ration our water, why not spend money to try various different options to see which would work best and cheapest.

Submitted by flyer on April 2, 2015 - 3:30pm.

Realizing the writing was pretty much on the wall concerning water in CA, we changed the landscaping on all of our properties a few years ago.

Hopefully, Mother Nature and/or some innovative measures will help us out soon, or, we're all going to have some major--and expensive--challenges in the future.

Submitted by flu on April 2, 2015 - 3:33pm.

AN wrote:
The-Shoveler wrote:
I saw an article on Geo engineering where they proposed taking medium sized boats (maybe 40 foot)
And putting high pressure pumps and spray ocean water a few thousand feet in the air a few hundred miles off the coast of California.

I say give that a try.
(although we may get permanent June gloom)

A billion dollars should be enough for say a few hundred of these boats for a several year (trial).


At this point, I think any option is better than rationing. We should think outside the box. Instead of trying to ration our water, why not spend money to try various different options to see which would work best and cheapest.

It would be good if there were better reclaimed water systems... That or people can start peeing on their own lawn. Rich in nitrogen, I'm told...

Run acres of solar to generate electricity to desalinate ocean water.

Submitted by flu on April 2, 2015 - 3:34pm.

In CA expect to see 1 gallon of drinking water to eventually be the same if not more than 1 gallon of gas.

Submitted by spdrun on April 2, 2015 - 3:35pm.

FlyerInHi, you talk about produce from Mexico, but what's their water situation? I doubt that weather conditions just magically stop at national borders, but I might be wrong.

http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-05-26/me...

Submitted by flyer on April 2, 2015 - 4:26pm.

Also, if our brilliant scientists/meteorologists could figure out how to break down the extremely persistent ridge of high pressure that dominates our weather patterns (some say due to climate change) we might have another source of hope for this problem.

There have been lots of storms out in the Pacific over the past years--but most have been blocked--which is the primary cause of our current water dilemma.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on April 2, 2015 - 4:25pm.

flu wrote:

It would be good if there were better reclaimed water systems... That or people can start peeing on their own lawn. Rich in nitrogen, I'm told...

LOL flu,

I say we just put these boats off the northern CA coast so we don't have the rain come down here LOL (just kidding).

They are already using reclaimed water on parks and some golf courses, more could be done.

Submitted by AN on April 2, 2015 - 4:35pm.

flyer wrote:
Also, if our brilliant scientists/meteorologists could figure out how to break down the extremely persistent ridge of high pressure that dominates our weather patterns (some say due to climate change) we might have another source of hope for this problem.

There have been lots of storms out in the Pacific over the past years--but most have been blocked--which is the primary cause of our current water dilemma.


I hope they don't do that. I love the weather we have right now. I would hate it if we get more rain. Which is why I'm big on toilet to tap and desalination. Both do not change the weather pattern. They just give us more water.

Submitted by AN on April 2, 2015 - 4:37pm.

The-Shoveler wrote:
flu wrote:

It would be good if there were better reclaimed water systems... That or people can start peeing on their own lawn. Rich in nitrogen, I'm told...

LOL flu,

I say we just put these boats off the northern CA coast so we don't have the rain come down here LOL (just kidding).

They are already using reclaimed water on parks and some golf courses, more could be done.

They could use reclaim water for farms. It already sticky driving up the 99 (just kidding... sorta)

Submitted by joec on April 2, 2015 - 5:56pm.

What are people paying in water per month? Compared to power, it seems really cheap (about $50 here in water)...

Submitted by AN on April 2, 2015 - 6:15pm.

What would this restriction do to the hoa areas that have perfectly green lawn? Would people in 4S/feel sur/Carmel valley/etc start to tear it their lawn?

Submitted by flyer on April 2, 2015 - 7:36pm.

I love the weather we have also--actually, when my wife and I were growing up in LJ, I think it was even more temperate--with less hot days than we have now.

That said, if given the choice of seeing the water issue become insurmountable for individuals and businesses--with a domino effect on the economy--I'd rather see more rain and snow in the state--if that's what it takes to solve this.

The way things are going, we may not even have that choice, so, it will be interesting to see what the realities of the future brings.

Submitted by montana on April 2, 2015 - 9:46pm.

We made the decision to cut water by tearing out our turf last fall and installed artificial turf with drought resistant plants all on a drip system. The kids love the turf, no dirt, mud or bugs, and I just saved $1k a year in a gardener. If 50% of our water usage was used for landscaping previously, I have easily cut that amount in half if not further by tearing out the turf and installing an efficient drip system. I also bought a new motion sensing kitchen faucet which is awesome which has reduced a lot of previously wasted water.

Frankly I'm irritated that it has taken so long to have the governor issue the water restrictions, these should have been put in place at least a year ago. And unfortunately, most people I talk to really have no idea the situation that we are in and just feel entitled to having water. Raising water rates significantly will be the only way you really get the whole states attentions, but the actual water use rates on your water bill are only a portion of your water bill. There are so many fixed costs of sewer and pumping station charges that mask the water usage charge. Doubling water rates wouldn't be dramatic, but doubling your total bill may catch somebody's attention.

Submitted by flyer on April 3, 2015 - 5:23am.

REDUCE WATER…AND CONTINUE BUILDING? HUH?

Global warming could make drought last decades
By Don Bauder, April 2, 2015

"Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown imposed statewide mandatory water restrictions for the first time in history. He wants California's water use slashed by 25 percent. He read off some horrifying statistics: the state's snowpack is 5 percent of normal. In January of last year, Brown wanted water usage to drop 20 percent, but the state achieved only half that. From now on, college campuses, cemeteries, golf courses, etc. will have to use less water.

On the same day, a San Diego city councilman declared that a Mission Valley real estate development, including thousands of condos and apartments, a hotel, offices, and retailers could generate enough money to pay for a subsidized Chargers stadium. Did anybody ask if there would be enough water for the condos, apartments, hotel, offices, retailers — and stadium?

Meanwhile, the battle over One Paseo, a proposed 1.4 million-square foot Carmel Valley development (also condos, apartments, retailers, offices) — already approved by the city council — roared on. Courageous San Diegans are opposing this monstrosity — but their main argument is possible traffic jams, not water. In Los Angeles, there are plans for a huge development and football stadium in Inglewood, as well as more development downtown. Is anybody thinking about water?

Last fall, scientists from Cornell, the University of Arizona, and the United States Geological Survey published a study stating that because of global warming, the chances of the Southwestern United States experiencing a decade-long drought — are 50 percent. And the chance of a megadrought — one lasting up to 35 years — is 20 to 50 percent over the next century. And ponder this: among the most vulnerable metro areas, according to these scientists, is San Diego.

Yesterday's New York Times quoted Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton. Said he, commenting on the California drought: "The drought is made up of two components: not enough rain and too much heat. The rain deficit isn't clearly connected to climate change, but the planetary warming has made it more likely that the weather will be hotter in California."

Said the Times, "Warmer temperatures worsen drought by causing more evaporation from reservoirs, rivers, and soil. Scientists say that the warming trend makes it highly likely that California and other parts of the Western United States will have more severe droughts in the future."

Yet, California's state bird remains the High-Rise Crane. Development is going on everywhere. Governor Brown's father, Gov. Pat Brown, wanted to attract people to California. Does his son feel that way? Still? How much scientific evidence does California need? How much evidence do the vulnerable cities, such as San Diego and Phoenix, need?

Isn't it time for some long-term thinking? It's nice to limit how much water one can get in a restaurant. But that is the proverbial drop in the bucket."

Of course, the positions taken in this article may or may not prove to be true. Only time will tell, but the phrase, "Proceed at your own risk" does come to mind.

Submitted by livinincali on April 3, 2015 - 6:17am.

FlyerInHi wrote:

As far a food, we can import what we need. Give the business to Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil. the water is better used in tech research and manufacturing.

We already spend billions of dollars militarily to protect our oil/energy interests in the middle east because of our poor energy policy. Now we want to offshore another strategic interest because some tech workers in San Diego, LA, and San Fran want to keep their lawns green and can afford too.

I'll all for desalination and toilet to tap. They are building desalination in Carlsbad despite all the environmentalist howls. At the same time we live in a desert do we really need a bunch of green grass around as a quality of life. I can certainly live without a green grass lawn especially when the alternative is to install a bunch of military presence in Chile or wherever to prevent some military coup that will interrupt our supply of fruits and vegetables.

Submitted by flu on April 3, 2015 - 7:09am.

AN wrote:
What would this restriction do to the hoa areas that have perfectly green lawn? Would people in 4S/feel sur/Carmel valley/etc start to tear it their lawn?

Funny you should mention that. I just got an hoa letter that said

"Dear Homeowner, due to the water restrictions, using synthetic lawn is now permitted in the front yard. Please submit your changes to architecture change board."

One of my neighbors got fed up with her lawn being brown, despite watering it all the time, so she ended up taking out the lawn and went for a desert landscape, succulent look. I just use a can of green spray paint.

Actually, I do try to recycle my water. When we wash vegetables, we wash in a pail, and then I empty it out onto the plants and lawn. I went with a rinseless car wash every 2 months now, and when I do wash, it's over my lawn with a 3 gallon bucket. I take really quick showers, and don't let the water run waiting for it to warm up, and folks in my family end up doing the same.

A showerhead flows at worst 2.5 gallons per minute. 10 minute showers end up being 25 gallons of water. More efficient showerheads are 1.5-1.75 gallons/minute. So a 10 minute shower is like 15-17.5 gallons of water.

I was thinking more about reclaiming water for other things. For example: laundry, dishwaster, and even shower. Water from those sources aren't *that* dirty, and are perfect for watering plants, grass as long as it's not for stuff meant to be eaten. I looked into how one could build a simple system, but to retrofit it into your existing plumbing would be difficult i think.

My water usage charges are around $40-50... But my entire bill ends up being close to $200 every two month. There's a lot of fixed item charges and sewage charges.
I'm wondering more how this will affect people with pools and golf courses.

Submitted by outtamojo on April 3, 2015 - 10:55am.

Given that we piggs like to..ahem.. hedge our household budgets, TTEK or other water plays anyone?

Submitted by fun4vnay2 on April 3, 2015 - 11:38am.

IN Socal, Keeping green grass is completely unethical...
I think these days are coming to an end now..

Submitted by AN on April 3, 2015 - 12:15pm.

rockingtime wrote:
IN Socal, Keeping green grass is completely unethical...
I think these days are coming to an end now..
Not all grass are the same. My yard is green and I'm only watering it 5 minutes a week.

Submitted by SD Squatter on April 3, 2015 - 1:20pm.

Pretty much all the water used for washing (sinks, showers, washing machine) is perfectly fine for landscaping with no treatment. Right now it's all mixed up with toilet and down the sever it goes (to the ocean).

Why is the reclaimed water usage for on-property landscaping not mandatory yet? Why are still new houses being build with no mandatory graywater reclamation systems build-in? Why does the government make it so difficult to retro-fit existing on-property sever lines for graywater reclamation? (I tried once, but gave up after seeing all ridiculous regulations and permit hoop jumping required.)

What about rainwater from your roof?

Some questions to ask our local goverment.

Submitted by no_such_reality on April 3, 2015 - 1:38pm.

AN. Did you use the UC Verde hybrid developed by the UC schools? Does it need regular mowing? I can only confuse my gardener so much

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