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I’m not one to speak out against conservation, but, people have no idea how water usage really works. 90% of the time the media just talks about urban and residential usage which only represents 10% of allocations from the DWR (doesn’t include groundwater). In the rare instances where NPR or real news organizations start talking about agriculture, the real agriculture usage is about 80% of the water use. I’m pretty sure that includes numbers outside the DWR water plan (again more groundwater).

California DWR planning has access to about 80MAF (million acre feet). A single acre foot is roughly 325,000 gallons of water.

CAwateruse.updated

So, assuming this doesn’t include ground water withdrawals which are outside the DWR that makes up for the other massive chunk.

Ok, so lets get some perspective here. No human being in CA will be deprived of water and if they are, its purely because of money/politics/bureaucracy.

Of the 80MAF total allocation under the purview of the DWR, 39MAF go towards mandated environmental use (instream flows, required delta outflows and scenic rivers) alone is more than 4X as much as ALL URBAN NEEDS COMBINED including industrial/residential/etc… even a 10% reduction to mandated flows would increase urban water availability by 50%.

Agriculture is the next 33MAF, again a small change to the usage here is a massive number. If California farmers were deallocated even the slightest amount, it would solve any perceived urban issues.

So of that urban use of 8MAF, about half goes to landscaping.

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If every adult in the united states did the ice bucket challenge it would use 736 AF (note, not MILLION, just acre feet) or around 0.00092% of the total water just in CA (not all of the US). In reality it’s probably about 1000x less than that, maybe a quarter million people? It’s really really really insignificant. Probably, a lot less than the 50AF lost from the pipe that burst near UCLA a few weeks ago.

I think my frustration comes from the fact that the debate is always framed around the common people being asked to conserve without being given the real facts. It’s much easier to get people in a panic that we might RUN OUT OF WATER rather than give them the truth.

Turning off the power in CA during the power crisis was a total farce, did we build lots of massive new power plants and distribution since the crisis? Or, did we just stop the corruption? I’ll give you a hint… we shutdown the San Onofre nuclear facility which provided over 2200MW of power and the lights are still on.

Conservation is important, recycling and reusing is important. Lying to the public is wrong and people freaking out about spilling water is just silly. Yes, people live in countries where water resources are a life threatening issue. But the reality is, you can’t fix that problem by conserving here, geography, politics, money and infrastructure don’t change because you saved a few gallons.

Until we reclaim our government, until we get big money out of politics, we can’t even begin to make changes that might help other nations.

Step 1. Reclaim your democracy
Step 2. Pass laws that make a REAL difference for our people
Step 3. Pass laws that make a REAL difference for the world.

None of that happens without step 1.
One option, because I hate when people complain wihtout solutions…
MayDay SuperPac

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