CA Water News—Oct 15

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

Good morning,

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive directive on Tuesday requiring Los Angeles to reduce its fresh water use 20 percent by 2017 as a response to the prolonged drought. Garcetti also asked L.A. departments to dramatically cut the amount of water used by replacing lawns and other city landscaping, including street medians, with less thirsty plants.

Four years ago, a few dozen miners and engineers — hired to work around the clock — set out to do something no one else had done:dig a tunnel beneath San Francisco Bay. This week, the $288 million tunnel begins carrying the Bay Area’s water supply from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to the Peninsula, bolstering the dependability of the region’s water system.

And California’s punishing drought is entering its fourth year, with reservoirs a mere 36 percent full. One area running out of water is Montecito, an upscale community home to celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and Ellen Degeneres. Now, those who lack for nearly nothing are coping with a problem money can’t solve.

Some other stories making news across the state:

The risks of cheap water

Santa Cruz enforces state’s toughest drought restrictions

Diablo Canyon desalinated water possible for fire services

MWD raises incentives for recycling, cleanup, desalination

PBS series to explore history of safe water

Our new readers today include: Evan Lashly, assistant ecologist, and Tommy Liddell, assistant hydrologist, United Water Conservation District, Santa Paula.

Have a great day!
Cindy Paulson, Ph.D.
Editor, California Water News
Brown and Caldwell

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Lawns vs Crops in the continental U.S.

Your grassy lawn comes at the cost of high water use


Homes, golf courses and parks may grow more acres of turf grass than U.S. farmers devote to corn, wheat and fruit trees — combined. In a study published in Environmental Management in 2005, researchers estimated there are 40 million acres of turf grass in the U.S., covering 1.9 percent of the land.

If all that is kept well watered, it could use 60 million acre-feet of water a year (An acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover an acre to a depth of one foot). Turf grass might be the U.S.’s largest irrigated “crop,” wrote the research team in their paper. Here’s a closer look at how lawns compare to some of the U.S.’s top agriculture and what that means for individual homeowners.

Four times more lawn than corn: Top U.S. crops by land area

There may be more acres of lawn in the U.S. than of the eight largest irrigated crops combined. Here are figures for the top four.

Acres of irrigated land
After orchards, the U.S.’s next four largest irrigated crops are cotton (4 million acres), pastureland (3.6 million acres), wheat (3.3 million acres) and non-alfalfa hay (3.2 million acres).

Lawns vs. crops in the continental U.S.


Santa Barbara – Laundry to landscape workshop Sat Sept 13

Hibiscus Inspiration–a complete Laundry to landscape workshop Sat Sept 13 from 8:30am-1:30pm

This is the laundry to landscape workshop you’ve been waiting for…we’ll be doing a complete installation including all the indoor plumbing as well as laying the poly lines in the landscape.

We’ll be working at a lovely home in the foothills that is being converted to a sustainable landscape. This is the first of up to five workshops at this residence, including a second greywater system, earthworks, and raintanks.

Hibiscus and ficus will be the happy recipients of the greywater from the washer. We’ll be able to subsitutue greywater for a whole section of drip irrigation in a corner of the property.
We’ll break into two groups, both which will get a chance to work with various materials–PVC, HDPE poly tubing, all kinds of fittings and of course dig in the dirt. Anthony Castelo and Barbara Wishingrad are the instructors.
Join us on Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 8:30am-1:30pm

Let’s celebrate, that along with all our challenges, acts of kindness
in little and big ways are always happening on our shared planet ….