We Love the Rain, But Let’s Think Long

By Ecology Action
February 10, 2017

All the rain this winter is nice, but let’s keep our good water habits going.

Shorter showers, low flow aerators and shower heads, drought-proof landscaping. They might have seemed a bit inconvenient a few years ago, but if you’re like us, you don’t even think about it anymore—and those billowing native grasses look way better than a lawn. So while we should all celebrate our recent run of wet weather here in California after five years of severe drought, we shouldn’t abandon any of our excellent new water saving skills.

It’s also important to note that both the drought and the extreme rains we’re experiencing have been linked to climate change. Continuing to reduce our hot water use in particular can be a big energy saver, which combats the causes of climate change.

Unfortunately, there’s been a recent call by a coalition of state and local leaders for the governor to declare an end to our state of drought emergency after this winter’s above-average rainfall. But before we make any decisions it’s important to know where all that falling water goes.

Rainwater mainly replenishes surface water supplies – reservoirs and lakes. Think of those as our water checking accounts. But this extended drought has seriously depleted our water savings account
– our aquifers or groundwater. California’s groundwater has been so severely depleted that the US Geologic Survey has shown that it’s causing the land to sink as quickly as one foot a year. The depleted water level has also caused seawater to intrude into some aquifers, contaminating the remaining water. Replenishing that crucial long-term supply of water can take years or even decades of above-average rainfall. 

One big paycheck in the checking account is great, but let’s not run out and spend yet. Good water habits make sense all the time and they even save you money – real money you can put in an actual savings account. For more information on how you can act now, check out the resources below.

If you live in certain neighborhoods of Santa Clara County, you might be eligible for our WaterLink Program.

Otherwise Santa Clara County Water District has a whole collection of programs for you.

In Santa Cruz County, you can check out the resources here.

Anywhere else in California, head on over here for information.

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