California's Drought: The Shift in Mindset

Despite the drought officially ended by Gov. Jerry Brown, Mediterranean climate in major parts of California remains the same. Water demands in warm, hot, dry summers and mild, moderately wet winters always exceed the water resources. A five-year drought raised concerns. It costs the state economy billions of dollars. It stressed forests and left more than 100 million dead trees behind. But the effects are far more deadly than anyone could imagine.

Pumping the underground water flattened the aquifers (underground layers of water-bearing rock, sand, and gravel.) "The deeper basins collected water over thousands of years" - said Alan Hayes, the National Weather service hydrologist. - "If we have another dry season - you can easily get back into trouble again. The situation is untenable." According to Hayes, the ground is sinking two feet a year, and it will take decades for aquifers to recharge fully.

If we thought the drought is over; not so fast. Water in California is always scarce. It's not anymore a catastrophic environmental disaster, but it doesn't make the fact less worrisome.

Public Utilities Commission will review the reinforced drought plan in May.

California drought. Brown bald lawn in Bay Area.

But drought suggestions remain the same.

  • Don't hose off sidewalks and paved surfaces. Use a rake or a broom instead.
  • Keep your sprinklers off after rainfall.
  • Keep your appliances in check to prevent leaks.
  • Stick with a drought-tolerant landscape.
  • Mulch your garden every year.
  • Invest in artificial grass.

The battle over artificial grass has been won during California drought. HOAs and cities accepted synthetic turf as an environmentally safe alternative to traditional lawns. While most Eastern states residents are still struggling with local authorities, Californians today can enjoy the benefits of modern landscaping.

For most people in the state, water conservation became a way of life. Those who was hit the most by its adverse effects will never waste water again. Thousands of yards have been transformed to drought-tolerant. Millions of showers, leaky toilets, pipes, and faucets have been fixed. Thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration. But only people themselves and their raised awareness helped to overcome the last five years disaster.

Water sprinkler, car in water, California water fines

Despite the dry winter, California State Water Resources Control Board and cities representatives support the state water regulators in Sacramento to fine residents up to $500 per water violation.

Orginal water rules were set on a temporary basis during the California drought 2014-2017 by Gov. Jerry Brown. Now, according to the water conservation portal, it will, most likely, become a permanent Califonia law.


America loves green, lush lawns. Outdoor lifestyle is threatened by severe drought and a climate change. Lawns dry out. Dried earth.

The state of Califonia is currently in its fifth year of severe drought. Despite Governor Brown's declaration of a state drought emergency in 2014, Californias fell short of the mandated water conservation target.

Residents used 23.9 percent less water in 2014 compared to 2013. Official call is an "enormous effort" is saving water despite missed target. Saved water in the nine months period is enough for nearly six million people for one year. Even though El Nino delivered a near-average amount of precipitations and snow in some areas of the state, Southern California saw relatively weak year of rain, leaving most reservoirs low. Any changes to the emergency conservation order will take effect in June 2016.


Sacramento Planning Commission is considering to lift a 1984 ban that prohibited to install artificial grass in the front yards. Due to the new California drought emergency water conservation regulations, state officials must take all necessary action to prepare for water shortages. Artificial grass is the alternative landscape option available to home and business owners today. In California cities, except Sacramento, rebates are offered by local water agencies to those who volunteer to tear off their water-thirsty lawns and turn them into a drought-tolerant landscape. But before the ban is lifted, Sacramento residents who installed synthetic lawns on their front yards can be fined by authorities.


Al Madrigal, L.A. resident, wasn't in mood to discuss California drought with Jon Stewart.

"I'm sick of it," - he says. "Back home it's all we talk about. We use to go to dinner and discuss movies. Which stars are secretly gays. But now it's just - "How long was your shower. Did you use a backet? Hey, that's a guy whose lawn is green. Call the cops! "

drought animated


Southern California's Metropolitan Water District, that provides water to 19 million people in parts of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, voted to raise funding for its turf-removal program on May, 26 2015. It's an excellent news for Californias and businesses ready to swap thirsty in California drought lawns for drought-tolerant plants and landscaping.


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