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California’s state agencies seek to make water conservation methods permanent

A water conservation plan was released by State agencies Nov 30 to achieve long-term efficient water use and meet drought preparedness goals.

While increased water conservation methods have been viewed by many as temporary, California is now seeking to make them permanent in the wake of the state’s four-year drought.

“Californians rose to the challenge during this historic drought and recognized that conservation is critical in the face of an uncertain future,” said California Department of Water Resources Director Mark W. Cowin. “This plan is about harnessing the creativity and innovation that Californians have shown during the driest years in state history and making water conservation a way of life in the years ahead.”

Seventy-five percent of California remains in a serious drought, and the Sierra Nevada snowpack—which accounts for much of the state’s water—is expected to drop 50 percent by the end of the century as climate change effects increase.

Highlights of the water conservation plan include permanent bans on wasteful watering, such as hosing down driveways or over watering lawns.

California’s many agricultural farmers will be asked to quantify their water use and describe methods they’re employing to increase water efficiency.

Water suppliers will also receive financial incentives for ensuring that their leak prevention and repair programs are up to date.

All recommendations aim to achieve the main objectives of the Governor’s Executive Order B-37- 16: use water more wisely, eliminate water waste, strengthen local drought resilience, and improve agricultural water use efficiency and drought planning.

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