If you can put aside for the moment the New York Times’ stubborn use of the “farmers use 80% of the water in California” canard*, this article isn’t too bad. It certainly notes the deep class divisions that are taking place in the state. To put it simply: the rich buy their way out of the restrictions and everybody else… can’t.
The fierce drought that is gripping the West — and the imminent prospect of rationing and steep water price increases in California — is sharpening the deep economic divide in this state, illustrating parallel worlds in which wealthy communities guzzle water as poorer neighbors conserve by necessity. The daily water consumption rate was 572.4 gallons per person in Cowan Heights from July through September 2014, the hot and dry summer months California used to calculate community-by-community water rationing orders; it was 63.6 gallons per person in Compton during that same period.
As state officials announced that lowest-ever snowpack in the Sierra Nevada — the source of nearly a third of California’s fresh water — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday said mandatory conservation measures would go into effect for the first time in history.
Among other actions, the governor’s executive order will require urban areas to reduce water use by 25 percent.
The State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) shall impose restrictions to achieve a statewide 25% reduction in potable urban water usage through February 28, 2016. These restrictions will require water suppliers to Californias cities and towns to reduce usage as compared to the amount used in 2013. These restrictions should consider the relative per capita water usage of each water suppliers’ Service area, and require that those areas with high per capita use achieve proportionally greater reductions than those with low use. The California Public Utilities Commission is requested to take similar action with respect to investor-owned utilities providing water services.
Some faceless (well, he has a name, but he’s effectively faceless anyway) Eurocrat, on why bottled water companies in the EU may not indicate on their product that ‘regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration’:
Prof Brian Ratcliffe, spokesman for the Nutrition Society, said dehydration was usually caused by a clinical condition and that one could remain adequately hydrated without drinking water.
Those wacky Europeans. God love ’em, but they’re weird. Then again, they all seem convinced over on the mainland that this EU thing is the only bulwark against them playing Let’s All Set Fire To Each Other, Repeatedly, Until The Americans Come Over To Save Our Burning Rears again, so I suppose that this is an improvement.