When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/21/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by falling on sidewalks, where it quickly evaporates in the summer heat.
At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the National Weather Service, the Drought Monitor Update for July 15 shows 81 percent of California in the category of extreme drought or worse, up from 78 percent. Three short months ago, it was 68 percent.
Drought conditions have worsened in parts of Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties.
While many officials are getting tough on water wasters, many continue to get away with "water homicide."
Downtown Los Angeles certainly doesn't look like a city devastated by the state's worst drought in decades. Areas remain green with landscaping and fountains in many city courtyards are running. People continue to water their lawns, wash their cars and fill their pools.
California Governor Jerry Brown announced last week, that compared to last year, water use for the month of May actually went up in some parts of the state - including in coastal Southern California, the region including Los Angeles, where water use rose 8 percent. The state has responded by voting to fine water-wasters up to $500.
Molly Peterson, an environment correspondent says the situation is more complicated than it appears. Those fountain downtown L.A., she says, use "recirculated water."
Even at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.
"They're leaving the water in so it's not ugly, but they're minimizing the possibility that it's going to be evaporating," Peterson says.
In the meantime, severe drought conditions are plainly evident as hundreds of house boats are dwarfed by steep banks that show the water level down 160 feet from the high water mark at Bidwell Canyon Marina on Lake Oroville on June 21.
Many Southern California cities, including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Long Beach, already have mandatory restrictions in place.
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