“Water Use in California,” a popular fact sheet produced by The Public Policy Institute of California, PPIC, just underwent an update which included three additional pages dedicated to studying water use in communities; the agricultural sector; and the environment, based on a report released by the Association of California Water Agencies on Friday, April 21.
The collective documents noted the following talking points:
· Total urban use has plateaued despite the population growth in California that reached 5.5 million between 2000 and 2020. More efficient indoor plumbing and fixtures contributed to the water savings as well as reduced outdoor use that amounts to nearly 50% of all urban use.
· Investments in conservation, storage facilities, new supplies, and interconnections made by large utilities with other utilities to enhance drought resilience and adapt to climate change are making a difference. However, rising costs pose a challenge to keeping water rates affordable for the end-user.
· Crop yields and crop quality have improved because of more effective water delivery and irrigation systems, reducing the amount of water used per acre. Water quality also improved as a result. At the same time, major sources of groundwater recharge was reduced by seepage from unlined canals and excess irrigation.
· “New approaches can mak more effective and efficient use of environmental water. Allocating a portion of supplies to the environment – rather than managing for restrictive minimum flow requirements – will help improve freshwater systems’ health.”Click here to view and download the Fact Sheet