Drought outlook remains troubling


California’s drought has become the talk of the state.

The San Joaquin Valley, being rich in agriculture, has long since been a hot topic when it comes to how it is being impacted.

Current estimates put California at having one year of water left in reserves, said NASA Senior Water Cycle Scientist Jay Famiglietti in an Los Angeles Times March editorial.

With such a troubling outlook, cities in the valley have started to take strict stances on water conservation.

As of May 1, Lodi enacted a new set of regulations that will help in the battle against the drought, according to a news release.

Regulations include: cutting water allowances and extending the height of grass from two inches to four inches so the extra length will shade the roots which will retain moisture more effectively.

Strict rules are enforced by fines issued to residents exceeding water allowances.
In April, Lodi issued 133 citations for excessive water use, said Jeff Hood, the Public Information Officer for the City of Lodi.

To help with educating its citizens, the City of Stockton is holding a one day drought informational workshop.

The workshop is to be held on May 29 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center in Stockton and will cover topics ranging from understanding how to read water meters, how to reduce water use with use of sprinkler controls to other topics that will ultimately help in water reduction.

Following Gov. Jerry Brown’s recommendations, Delta College has also joined in the rally to conserve water on campus.

Salvador Rodriguez, campus custodial grounds manager, said the biggest challenge is to develop a sustainability plan.

“Jerry Caldorone, the VP of Operations, has been developing a plan of sustainability for landscape on campus,” said Rodriguez.

“A few ways we have been cutting back is by discontinuing the washing of exterior buildings and walkways on campus, higher grass lengths to allow the soil to retain moisture and looking for alternatives to grass such as bark,” said Rodriguez, who said if anyone on campus sees wasteful water issues, the custodial department should be contacted.

The effects of the drought can be seen from the lower water levels in lakes, to dying plants in many front yards.
The best way to conserve is to be smart about water usage.

A few ways to help in reducing the use of water is by fixing leaks, replacing inefficient appliances and taking out lawns and opting for a dirt yard instead, according to report released in June 2014 by the the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

California is a long way off from bouncing back to what it was just a few years ago but, with the help of California residents, the drought’s impact can be less significant.