|Natural California landscaping that does not suck down rivers of water.|
California Water Waisters
- Californian's have traditionally used water as if they were living in rainy Seattle. It is not so much about rich vs. poor, but rather dumb vs. smart.
- While the drought rages on, California cities keep building more and more water sucking housing tracts and businesses. After all, water is "magic". You just turn on the tap and it will always come out.
(Contra Costa Times) - Only 24 miles separate the San Francisco East Bay communities of San Lorenzo and Diablo. But when it comes to California's relentless drought, they are a world apart.
The pattern shows up throughout the state. A study released last year of residential water use in Southern California found wealthier Los Angeles neighborhoods consumed three times more water than less affluent ones. Although local climate and landscape type also played a role, a homeowner's income was a primary factor in how much water he or she used, the study found.
But this newspaper requested a breakdown of residential use by community, revealing for the first time the chasm here from one area to the other.
Overall, the newspaper's analysis showed that in 2014, all 27 communities in the district averaged 73 gallons per person per day. But the more affluent neighborhoods in warmer suburbs are using far more.
Diablo, with 345 gallons per person per day, was the heaviest user, followed by Alamo with 250, Lafayette with 181 and Danville-Blackhawk with 163. Among the lowest residential users were San Lorenzo, with 51 gallons, Berkeley with 52, San Pablo with 54 and Oakland with 57.
To be sure, weather plays an important role. The further inland an area is from San Francisco Bay and its fog, the warmer the temperatures. That explains some of the disparities, but not all of them.
"The same square footage of turf will need about 30 percent more water east of the hills than west of the hills," said Abby Figueroa, a spokeswoman for EBMUD. "But we're seeing per-capita use five or seven times higher in some places. We'd like to see those numbers come down."
Even near the bay, wealthy communities use more. Upscale Piedmont used 110 gallons per person in 2014, nearly double what working-class Richmond used, just 12 miles away.
Read More . . . .
|A warning sign on a dried-out beach at Folsom Lake|