My, how quickly we forget.

It didn’t take some Californians long to drop those water-conservation habits they had honed so well during the state’s last drought, which dragged on from December 2011 to March 2017. You would think that a weather catastrophe that, among other things, killed 102 million trees in the Golden State, would have left an enduring memory that would change our water-wasting ways forever.

Nope. As my colleague Paul Rogers points out in his story this week, millions of state residents curtailing their wise-use practices, even as current weather patterns this year are raising the troubling possibility that we may be in for yet another drought. With each passing month, a state survey shows, Californians have been slowly boosting the amount of water they use.

Even though residents had cut down on water use by 15 percent by last July, that number dropped to a small fraction by December, when compared to water use in 2013. In other words, we weren’t using as much water as we had in the past, but that amount of savings kept getting smaller.

But there are some places where the issue wasn’t simply saving less. Nope, in some California communities, water use has — incredibly — increased. Here’s a look at the seven communities in California where water use rose from last May to December, compared with the same period in 2013. Three are in Southern California, where low rainfall and hot temperatures contributed to the uptick, and four are in Northern California. Rainfall figures come compliments of Bay Area meteorologist Jan Null. Water use figures are from Rogers and another of my colleagues, data analyst Leigh Poitinger.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Estero Municipal Improvement District

Use up: 5.8 percent

Service population: 37,165

Service area: four square miles (Central San Mateo County, including Foster City)

Rainfall in 2017: 25.24 inches

Hmmm: According to the United States Census Bureau, Foster City has a total area of 19.8 square miles of which 16.1 square miles is – are you ready for this? – water. In other words, this bayside community is 81.07% H20.

Mountain House Community Services District

Use up: 2.3 percent

Service population: 4,700 (water accounts); approximately 18,000 residents

Service area: 3.1 square miles

Rainfall in 2017: 16.52 inches

Hmmm: In 2015, this out-of-nowhere community near Tracy was threatened with the loss of its water supplier and, said the LA Times at the time, “millions of dollars in landscaping and thousands of acres of crops are at risk. …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

      

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What drought? Seven California cities where water use is up

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