By Raymond Nava
Asking California residents to cut back on water usage is a request that isn’t going to receive positive reactions.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California called on residents to cut back on their water usage due to a shortage of water this year.
Metropolitan called on Southern California residents to cut back on water consumption by 35%, otherwise a full ban on watering would be put into effect by this summer.
A main restriction the Metropolitan Water District seeks to implement is on outdoor watering to one day a week starting on June 1.
If the restriction doesn’t work, then an all out ban on outdoor watering would be in effect in September.
The main problem with this is that it hasn’t been working so far. Being told or given a restriction by the government on something as natural as water isn’t going to go over well.
Instances of being asked to reduce water usage by doing things such as reducing the time used taking a shower or having a limit put on watering a garden isn’t something that is liked.
Calls like this aren’t new for California residents. Rolling blackouts and calls to reduce electricity use have been made during extreme heat waves in the state.
During periods of extreme heat, Californians were asked to lower their consumption of electricity on air conditioning so as to not overload the power grid.
Rolling blackouts were also used in order to cut power consumption. However, the water shortage situation is different.
Unlike with the calls for electricity reduction, the water shortage wasn’t a situation that was out of the state’s control.
In fact, the issue of water was a topic brought up during last year’s governor recall election. Democratic recall candidate Kevin Paffrath proposed building a pipeline from California to the Mississippi river to pump water to the state as a way to tackle the crisis.
While his proposal may have seemed advantageous, it was at least a plan. The water crisis has been a long running issue for years in California and it doesn’t appear that the state has spent time trying to tackle the issue.
While conserving water in a shortage is important, the state shouldn’t assume the coming restrictions will go over well with residents, nor should they expect easy compliance.
The government has had years to tackle this issue. Residents shouldn’t be burdened with the results of inaction, at least not without being compensated in some way.
California isn’t new to droughts, so this scenario of a water shortage should have been for seen and with the surplus of the California budget, plans should have been made for a moment like this.