Free Research Paper On Saving Water In California

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Water, California, Government, Politics, New York, People, Conservation, Law

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/01/01


California, a state in the United States, has been under the worst drought ever for the past four years. It has led to water shortages in the state. Water shortage in California has been a real challenge which has been taken for granted by the people especially those living in the urban centers. The people in the urban centers and the industries use water in such a way that one would believe that there is plenty of water in the State of California which is contrary to the reality. Much acreage of firms has been left fallow due to water shortage. The government had been advocating the reduction of water usage by 20%, but the survey of 2014 depicted that only 5 percent of water was being saved (New York Times). This paper purpose to discuss further this menace and the efforts put forth by the government and individuals towards saving water.

Water shortage and wastage

The drought that has hit California for the past four years has been one of the worst. The drought has extremely affected the farmers in California who has had to let go of their farming activities. It has also had its implication on the availability of water in the state. The state of California is facing a serious challenge in regard to water shortage; their reservoirs are running low day by day yet the drought seems not to end anytime soon. In spite the awareness of this impediment the resident’s of California being aware of the problem, they are magnifying it. The level of water usage among them is still very high. The business and the residents use water in a way that one cannot tell that there is a shortage in California (New York Times). Further some parts of the states for example San Diego have seen an increase in water Usage since 2013. It has proved to be a major hurdle to the government and the state, in general, has it struggle to ensure that there is a constant supply of water over a long period.
With no stronger conservation measure, there is a risk of facing server water shortage in California, a state which is semi-arid. Some areas of the state for instance California have recorded low rainfall for two years consecutively. It is worsened by the fact that climate change would most probably make the drought persistent issue, as per the National Climate Assessment Report. In many districts, there have not been any efforts to impose strict and tight restrictions on watering lawns as well as filling the backyard pools with water (New York Times). People in the Central Valley are charge flat rate for any amount of water they use, a practice that amounts to water wastage.

Impacts of Water Shortage in California

Water shortage has great risk to the economy of the state of California. It impact has been felt by the agricultural sector which in the past three years it has made losses approximated to be over 2 billion US Dollars. Other water-related risks in the industrial sector include; decreased revenue since the energy production levels would decrease hence forcing the cost of power to rise. Consequently, the operation costs of the industries would increase. It may impact on the prices of goods and services if these industries transfer that burden to the consumer. Also, the shortage saw an increase in the prices of water. It has affected both the residents and the businesses in California.

Policies Adopted to Regulate Water Shortage and Wastage

The government in conjunction with another organisation in the state has been working tirelessly to provide the necessary measure to improve on the ongoing situation. The legislature has enacted and amended several laws to ensure that the situation is regulated and put under control. In March 2015 the governor G. Brown together with other leaders of the senate and the assembly announced the legislation that was to help the communities cope with the situation. This is a 1 billion dollar package that would fasten the bond funding to enhance the state to be much resilient to the effects of the climate change and help the residents of California to get access to the supply of local water. Also, the Water Board of California State has expanded and extended the regulations of emergency water conservation. It encourages the suppliers of water to ensure that they do much than what is set as minimum requirements, since the regulation has provided them with flexibility to take actions which reflect to the conditions prevailing in their local areas.
Further, the state has criminalized water wastage. It will be a crime to waste water in California that would draw a fine of $500 each day (Weiser). It aims at instilling responsibility among the members of the public since continuous surveys have often shown a failure by the people of California to conserve water on their own during the disastrous drought. In addition some areas such as the Los Angeles, have adopted a different approach whereby they pay 3 dollars for every grass’ square foot replaced with landscaping which need little or no water (California drought). It is termed as the “Cash in your Lawn” Program. It has seen a significant reduction in water wastage in lawns as the state claims that approximately 8 million Square feet of the lawn has been done away with since 2009 when the program begun.

Alternative Regulation Policies

The Agricultural sector which has adversely been affected by the drought accounts for roughly 2% of the GDP of the state according to research it uses 80 percent of the state’s water. Therefore, a small percentage reduction in water usage in the agricultural fields would have a significant impact on total water conservation. For instance the rice sector which necessitates that the fields are always flooded with water can be put on alt or even reduced. According to the report produced by Natural Resource Defense Council and Pacific Institute, approximate that the water usage by the agricultural sector can be reduced by about 22 percent (New York Times). It can be achieved when the farmers effectively and carefully schedule crop watering based on soil and weather conditions. Further if they used Drip irrigation systems which deliver water to the crops’ roots directly. Though there has been progressing in irrigation since 1999, some farms still practice flooding irrigation.
Some changes also can prove to take a longer time to carry out though they can still bring about a significant impact. An example is the Santa Cruz’s municipal budgeting whereby it is imposed by the water utility. In this policy, the amount of water that is required by each household is determined based on the location and the occupants of the homestead. A client who, therefore, uses more than the water that he/she is budgeted for is required to pay for the extra water at higher rates. With this program, Santa Cruz has been able to reduce the usage of water by approximately 30 percent (New York Times). Finally, the state should work hard to encourage its people to change their lifestyle as well as businesses to modify how they operate to fit the prevailing conditions.


In conclusion, it is a reality that the drought in California is not going to end and time soon rather it becomes more adverse as time goes by. It is therefore within the mandate of the government and the entire population of this state to work together in conserving water which it is going to be a rare commodity sooner than after. The state officials should and must act with urgency on this issue. The implementation of the programs and policies that have already been floated should not delay at all for instance the 700 million US dollars allocated by the legislature for drought relief had not been fully utilized by the end of 2014. The government policies should work beyond just a drought emergencies and seek also to address the long-term effect of the climate change. Lastly, the residents and the businesses in California should wake up to the reality that soon water shall not be sufficient enough to run their daily chores and productions. Therefore, they should use it efficiently and conserve it. Water is life and everybody need it at all times.

Work Cited

Editorial Board. ‘Saving Water in California.’ New York Times. July 9, 2014. Print.
Weiser Matt. ‘California adopts $500 Criminal Penalty for water waste.’ July 15, 2014. Print
California Drought.
Grant, Stanley B., et al. "Taking the “waste” out of “wastewater” for human water security and ecosystem sustainability." Science 337.6095 (2012): 681-686.

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