Californians responded to the state's long-lasting drought and urging from government leaders by cutting their water usage 31 percent in July.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Gov. Jerry Brown
asked residents and public water districts in April to cut back their water use by 25 percent over usage levels from 2013, the year before drought emergencies were put in place. Apparently, people paid attention. In June — the first month the cut-backs were in effect — residents cut water use by 27 percent.
But July figures handily topped that amount.
"It really shows that the public gets it,” Tim Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, told the LA Times. “So are public water agencies. They are doing an amazing array of creative outreach. They're using social media like they never had before. They're partnering with other entities in ways they never had before.”
For some water suppliers, individual goals for usage cuts were set. The Times said that the number of suppliers who missed their targets by 15 percent or more percentage points dropped from 16 in June to four in July.
Although predictions for a wet winter from an El Nino are lending hope to the state's drought situation, the prolonged dry spell is causing some serious consequences.
A report released in mid-August by NASA confirmed that land in the San Joaquin Valley is sinking because of the significant amount of water being pumped out to alleviate drought conditions, a release from the California governor's office said.
The state's Department of Water Resources said the land is sinking faster than ever before, with some areas sinking two inches per month.
"Because of increased pumping, groundwater levels are reaching record lows — up to 100 feet lower than previous records,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “As extensive groundwater pumping continues, the land is sinking more rapidly and this puts nearby infrastructure at greater risk of costly damage.”
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