Drought causes new water regulations

RACHEL TRUONG

ASST. BUSINESS EDITOR

California is suffering from its most severe drought since 2011.

Numerous cities and farms across the state have suffered from the effects of the water shortage, which include food price inflation and lower crop yields.

These issues have caused many organizations across the state, including city governments and universities, to promote the importance of conserving water.

This includes the University of San Diego, which has already enacted numerous methods of water conservation, including low-flow showerheads and water conserving toilets.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has responded to the drought by announcing that he will enforce new regulations in order to reduce the amount of water being used by citizens across the state and to ensure that California will be better prepared for the next drought.

In an official press release from the state of California on April 1 of this year, Brown spoke about mandatory water reductions to be enforced in cities all across California, the first governor in state history to do so.

“Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow.” Brown said. This historic drought demands unprecedented action.Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible.”

Governor Brown’s regulations will include replacing 50 million square feet of lawns with drought tolerant plants, directing a statewide rebate program to replace old appliances with water and energy efficient ones, requiring places such as college campuses and golf courses to cut their water use, and preventing new buildings from irrigating with potable water.

These measures are set to reduce California’s water usage by 25 percent. According to the California Energy Commission, the new appliances alone will save more than 10 billion gallons of water a year, 10 times the amount of water used by the city of San Diego.

These regulations, when enacted, will greatly impact San Diego as a whole, including USD.

The university has already taken large steps to help conserve water, including, installing water efficient showerheads and sinks and encouraging the use of reusable water bottles rather than plastic disposable ones.

In addition, students have also experienced the importance of conserving water through numerous programs emphasizing this idea, such as the theme for this year’s All Faith Service: Water: A Sacred Trust.

With the new regulations on water being enforced, some students have weighed in on the pros and cons of USD’s famously beautiful campus potentially receiving less water. One of these students is sophomore Alex Garcia.

“Our campus is very beautiful, but it takes a lot of water to keep it that way,” Garcia said. “If it means we’re helping the rest of California by saving water, then what’s a few blades of grass in exchange?”

Governor Brown’s regulations will be enforced by local water providers. If local businesses and homeowners do not comply with the new restrictions on water, the executive order authorizes water suppliers to penalize offenders.

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