County and state officials are urging residents across the state to conserve water. State Senator Fran Pavley expressed the need for legislation to create a more coordinated response to drought.
Last week’s small rainstorm did little to alleviate the ongoing drought in Southern California and across the state.
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On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Santa Clarita Water Committee met to draw up a Water Conservation Action Plan, urging residents to take their water consumption down by 20 percent.
County and state officials followed suit this week, as several politicians and public agencies encouraged California residents to conserve water, asked the government to plan for the future and took actions to reduce their own consumption.
State Senator Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, issued a press release on Tuesday that stressed the need for legislation to lessen the impact of future droughts.
“We need a cohesive plan around the state that recognizes the problem,” Pavley said at a Natural Resources and Water Committee hearing. “It’s a shared responsibility no matter where you live, whether you are an urban user or an agricultural user.”
Pavley, who chairs the Natural Resources and Water Committee, suggested that the state consider measures that would automatically go into effect when a drought is declared.
She believes this would make drought response a more coordinated, statewide effort, the release said.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors also approved a motion on Tuesday to lobby in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. for legislation that would make water supplies more reliable by streamlining the regulatory agency permit process.
The board also directed the county Department of Public Works to increase groundwater collection and the use of recycled water.
The County Waterworks Districts were asked to continue offering customer incentives for conservation.
Local Waterworks District 36 and 37, serving Acton and Val Verde, respectively, currently offer rebates on high-efficiency washing machines, weather-based sprinkler controllers and rotary sprinkler nozzles.
The California Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday that it would start using more than 700 electronic highway signs to display the message “SERIOUS DROUGHT HELP SAVE WATER,” when there were no other traffic, safety or Amber Alert messages to display.
Caltrans also committed to using less water in their own operations, which would include cutting irrigation by 50 percent, delaying landscaping projects and not washing Caltrans vehicles unless necessary for safety.
Both Pavley and the Board of Supervisors also recognized the need to reduce silt in state reservoirs.
“Researchers estimate that silt has reduced about 120 reservoirs in California to less than a quarter of their original capacity and almost 190 reservoirs to less than half of their capacity,” Pavley’s press release said. “The diminished capacity adds up to an estimated 1.7 million acre feet, enough water for about 3.4 million families.”
And here in Santa Clarita, the Water Committee urges residents to conserve water in their own homes.
Water tips are available from the Castaic Lake Water Agency, here.
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Source: Santa Clarita News