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Scientists: State drought likely to worsen

Original post made on Apr 8, 2015

The likelihood of California experiencing more warm, dry years leading to severe drought is increasing, according to research by Stanford University scientists.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 10:47 AM

Comments (68)

Posted by LoveYourDNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 8, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Mad Max.....

Posted by Water Waste
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Since agriculture uses 80% of the surface water that is consumed or applied in California it is time that agriculture got more efficient.

The problem is that we taxpayers have been subsidizing the cost of transporting a lot of this surface water for agriculture to use, so they don't see that added cost. Then parts of agriculture have been storing the surface water in aquifers and have now depleted most of those stored reserves. A the same time other parts of agriculture never deposited any underground but they have also drilled deeper and deeper and depleted the underground aquifers.

We need state action to mandate efficient farming practices so as to get more out of the water we have. Adding acres and acres of Almond trees has not been a good idea. Growing rice in California using the flood the field and the burning the remainder method at the end of the year should be outlawed. it's insanity.

Certain parts of the state need to return to the natural uncultivated state rather than importing water which was never available except in the wettest years.

It's not going to make a dent if residential users cut back on their 10% share of the surface water, and manufacturing (10%) and agriculture 80% don't cut back. When you count the drawdown of underground water, ag has been using 100% of the surface water anyway.

What a mess.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 8, 2015 at 3:08 pm

True is a registered user.

Three words:




Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 8, 2015 at 3:50 pm

True is a registered user.

Waaaaaiiiit a minute.

This "study" looked at the most recent 120yr segment of the Cenozoic era which stretches back 65M yrs?

That's a bit like making the decision on whether Randy Johnson should go into the Baseball Hall of Fame based solely on the last pitch he threw in the Majors.


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 8, 2015 at 3:56 pm

That 80% number gets thrown around quite a lot. It isn't accurate.

Of the water we collect in the state, about 50% is released into the streams and rivers to keep them going. Of the REMAINING 50%, about 80% is used in agriculture, so in reality about 40%. The rest is spread around to other uses.

Unless everybody is willing to have their food prices skyrocket, then we need to give farmers water. You also can just have them change what they are growing at the drop of a hat either. Trees take YEARS to produce fruit. Surface crops are more easily changed but different crops require different equipment to harvest them. All that costs money, which consumers must ultimately pay.

What makes FAR more sense is to place a moratorium on building new housing from now on unless the city/town agency that approves the building permits can provide proof that a water source exists to sustain it. If they can't, only permits for replacement buildings can be approved. The politicians greed for tax dollars encourages them to approve building when they KNOW there isn't sufficient water to sustain it. Who suffers? The CURRENT citizens, who should take precedence over new residents.

Also, we have insufficient water storage in the state, yet the current administration chooses to spend $63 BILLION (so far) on a train that few will use and will likely be a burden to taxpayers as Caltrain is, operating at a continual loss. Can you imagine the amount of water storage that could be built with $63 BILLION? The money spent would disrupt fewer ecosystems than the train, benefit more people and allow the politicians to serve the current citizens. They may even be able to justify allowing more people to move here.

In short, despite the fact that many find the farmers to be an excellent scapegoat when we have water problems, the real culprits are elsewhere. If you are hunting for the cause of our current problems, look in Sacramento, not the Central Valley.

Posted by Ryan
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm

@psr, no new housing? Why stop there, its the people not the housing which uses the water, so we should adopt some kind of one child system as well. We can't stop GIVING farmer's water, or else we shall all starve, after all, they're only growing food for us out of the goodness of their hearts, and certainly have no interestest in any kind of profit making.

Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm

So I guess you're eating that food as a public service, Ryan?

Posted by Ryan
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Terrible comparison, I actually have to and expect to pay market prices for my food, which you couldn't say about valley farmers and water.

Posted by Impacts
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2015 at 6:10 pm

All the people moving here and forcing developments is wasting a tremendous amount of water. Hydroelectric to keep people's tvs going is forcing us to allocate more water to "environmental" than we would normally do.

Clearing forests for developments is ruining the aquifer so much of the rain is going directly out to the ocean rather than be accessible for other uses.
The anti-agriculture crowd are just greedy lawn owners and golfers that do not understand water science

Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm

80% is fair number to use since we should focus human uses, and farming is indeed 80% of our human use of water in California, if not more.

Certainly food is used to keep us alive, so water used for food is a fundamentally essential use of water, but not all foods are equal. Some foods take extraordinary amounts of water, like almonds and other nuts. Web Link These nuts are increasingly being grown in CA for export to China and India.

Food grown and subsidized for Americans to eat, sure, reasonably justified, but food grown for export, that is sold at an artificially low price, since water unmetered is essentially a public subsidy is worth examination as ecologically unsustainable.

There would be no harm in educating all consumers of how much water it takes to grow their food so they could adjust that into their purchasing decisions, since unregulated water usage means it's not built into their prices. Water in California has politically operated free of natural economic forces for too long. We only have one Earth to leave our children's children.

Posted by Water Waste
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Keep in mind that of the 2% of the California economy that is agriculture, a whole lot produces food for export. It's not likely that food prices would go up significantly if big ag and small farmers had to pay market prices for water. Small farmers already do. If this applied equally to large factory farming operations, what would happen would be the cost for the Almonds and Beef and other California food crop exports would rise more for the foreign buyers than it would for the domestic ones. Then the amount exported would be reduced and the water consumption by China and the rest of Asia would give way to more use of water for domestic uses--California residents.
Right now the state subsidies on water transport help keep prices lower for Chinese buyers. What kind of sense does that make?

Posted by Ignorance and Greed
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 8, 2015 at 10:18 pm

Once again Mr Chiang shows his true colors. Sorry, but farmers have the right to access water by law. Pushing water on urban landscapes produces no food. It is 100 percent wasteful. Sure, farmers could use water more efficiently, but they are still more efficient than urban users who produce nothing.

Most water in California is allocated as non-agricultural. Deliberately lying to prove some greedy point you have is highly unethical.

Posted by Water Waste
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2015 at 12:28 am

The numbers tell the story. The ag big business interests in California slurp up 80% of the available surface water, plus as much as they want of the underground reserve. They have ample opportunity for increase efficiency to produce the same crop yield. They also have the option to stop switching to crops like Almond trees which consume much more water than their historical crops have done.

Posted by peter
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2015 at 11:51 am

Water Waste, mate, you're quoting true, but old numbers. According to the original allocation formula agreed on back in 1930 or so when the big CA water projects got going, 80% of the water was allocated to agriculture. True enough. But over the last 15 years or so ago, a large portion of the farmer's allocation (opinions vary by political stripe as to the exact figure, but lefties say it's about 50% and righties say it's about 65%) is used to pump water into the ocean for environmental reasons (such as the delta smelt). I'll leave it to the people who fight each other over politics to fight over whether or not we should be pumping fresh water into the ocean or not, it's not for me to say. My only point is to make clear that even though the original agricultural allotment was 80%, it's most certainly not, today.


Posted by Water Waste
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2015 at 1:14 pm

No one is pumping fresh water into the ocean. The rivers flow to the ocean naturally. We've increased the flow of fresh water to the ocean by filling in wetlands. That's why he SF Bay has gotten less salty. But that has nothing to do with allocating the surface water that is available. In years with plenty of runoff, there has always been a lot of surface water still running into the ocean. Pretending that the environment can make up the shortfall for nature in those years with less runoff is folly. In those years, what is left to keep the river from drying out is still way less than flows in the wetter years, so there is some effect on wildlife and the rest of the environment even then.

Landowners including farmers claim water rights totally 350 million acre feet per year, and in the best years all there ever is available are 70 million acre feet. Fantasies don't justify claiming that big ag consumes any less than 80% of the water in any given year. What has happened is that they are drying out the underground supplies in those years when the surface water runs short for their massive needs. That's the real danger here. The underground aquifer is the reserve for everyone and should be used responsibly. Ag should cut usage by 50% and we should replenish aquifers going forward, for everyone's future emergency use.

Posted by Volunteer
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Want to steal farmers water rights? I don't.

Telling farmers to stop their source of income is fine if compensation is provided. Forecasted profit x number of years to stop production + costs of replanting dead almond trees from not watering + lost profit from the years it takes to recover orchard. Let's have the pro-lawn, pro-golf course anti-farmers pay this compensation.

Ornamental landscapes in peoples yards do not financially support their owners. For the anti-China crowd, don't forget that most of the tools and products you use to keep the fake non-native green around your home was not produced in the US. So, who's unpatriotic now?

Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm

No one is trying to attack farmers, but rather protect our collective future.
No one benefits from unsustainable uses our resources, not farmers or consumers.

For some farmers, perhaps we should consider paying them to doing something else. Almond farmers alone make up 10% of our human water consumption in CA, that's equal to 3 years of water supply for the entire city of Los Angeles. It's 1.8 gallons per almond.

That crop is worth $5 billion, is 3 years of water for LA worth $5 billion, maybe.

These numbers aren't made up. The 80% of human use number is from the PPIC: Web Link
Almond data is from Mother Jones Web Link Web Link

Suggesting that it's ecologically unsustainable to ship high water-use products to foreign countries when we have water scarcity at home is not anti-China, but pragmatic. At the very least, the price of export food should reflect the full price of product (price of water).

Posted by Wrong again
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Chris got it wrong again. The non-partisan PPIC organization he referred to actually gave these #'s:

"Water in California is shared across three main sectors.
Statewide, average water use is roughly 50% environmental, 40% agricultural, and 10% urban."

The issue that he fails to either understand or is trying to hide from the community is that the so-called "environmental" water is under human control. It is the water that we are choosing to allocate and protect from human use. Most of the water in California is not counted in any of these #'s--just this controllable amount.

So, he can hammer away all he wants at this so-called "80%" number, but actually it is still a fact that most of the water we are diverting and/or protecting is not going to either ag or urban.

There is no question that of this specifically tracked water in California that more is being used on ag, then in urban. However, this does not account for all of the human activities that are using water in other states and countries. For example, buying a case of canned soup at Safeway and driving it your home represents hundreds of gallons of water used. Every drop of water that went into the production of the soup, the can, the label. The shipment of the can across the world, getting it onto a truck over to a distributor and then driving it over to the store. And then you drive over and buy it. All the gas you used has a toll on water. The list goes and on and.... So, if you REALLY care about conservation, then you will strictly limit YOUR use of products and services from everywhere and not just rail on California farmers.

I think the best compromise solution is to put massive fees on urban water use that will go to pay farmers to use less water. They have the legal right to that water and their incomes depend on it. Our lawns and golf courses do not sustain us and we don't have the same water rights. Seems fair to me.

Posted by Ryan
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2015 at 6:34 pm

"Fair" would be everyone paying the same rate for water, the California taxpayers are paying for this state's water infrastructire, and even a foamer like "wrong again" can't deny that ag isn't exactly contributing to the lions share of tax receipts. If you can't make money without being subsidized by the rest of us, perhaps its time to explore a different business model.

Posted by Water Waste
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2015 at 7:05 pm

"According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
more than half of the acres in California still use waterintensive,
gravity-based systems to irrigate crops. And many
farmers are unable to irrigate when needed, forced by their
district to accept or reject irrigation water on a fixed and
inflexible schedule. By upgrading the aging infrastructure
that delivers water to farmers, agricultural water suppliers
can encourage more efficient irrigation practices such as drip
irrigation instead of flood/furrow irrigation, precise irrigation
scheduling, and regulated deficit irrigation to greatly improve
agricultural water efficiency."

And hopefully the farmers will pay for the improved service rather than expecting the other 98% of the state economy to subsidize changes to SAVE THEM MONEY going forward.

Posted by peter
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2015 at 8:15 pm

hey waste water, you can twist it semantically all you want, but the result is the same. i said we started pumping fresh water into the ocean for environmental reasons. here's what you said: "We've increased the flow of fresh water to the ocean by filling in wetlands." Yes, we have, mate. Yes, we have. use your own words if that makes you feel better. no worries, the result is the same. cheers.

Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2015 at 11:03 pm

USA is a registered user.

"The researchers found that the state's worst droughts historically occurred during the combination of warm and dry conditions."

Wow, just wow.

Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 10, 2015 at 12:48 am

Those defending CA almond exports to China during our historic drought should know that the largest almond "farmer" in America is California billionaire Stewart Resnick.

While the drought worsens, and cities aim to make cuts, his profits continue to rise.

We should support small famers, but allowing corporations and billionaires to take advantage of a scare public resource is beyond me.

Web Link

Web Link

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

True is a registered user.

@Christopher Chiang

At what checking account balance do you suggest we stop allowing people to profit from their business?

Posted by Sad
a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2015 at 9:53 am

Mr Chiangs anti-China sentiments are disgusting... Racism should not be tolerated.

Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

I am all for free markets and profits. Free markets are healthiest when prices reflect the true cost of production (including internalizing externalities). At times we distort prices intentionally, like much of farming is subsidized for our own benefit, keeping farms in business and food affordable for Americans. That's defensible.

Yet when you are talking growing water-intensive crops in a extreme drought state for highly profitable export using public water that they did not pay for (because of political decisions, but the rest of Californians does pay for), then you are not talking about capitalism, but cronyism and corruption.

There is nothing capitalist about billionaires making excess profits off a scarce public resources (water). By all means companies should aim to make money, but not be by cheating both the public and the environment.

Posted by Ignorant
a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

Once again, Chiang claims to be for free markets yet is shocked that other countries are willing to pay more for our produce than we are.

That is capitalism.
That is free market.

If he doesn't want farmers to sell to other countries, then he needs to pay more for our products!

If people are not comfortable with freedom, then why do they live here? They are free to leave anytime.

Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 10, 2015 at 10:24 am

There is nothing racist by pointing out the facts that people of all nations should seek sustainable consumption and eating practices.

Is it sustainable for the planet for us to grow water-intensive crops in a water-scarce state to shop across the world at prices that do not reflect the true cost, since the producers do not have to pay for the water?

Many crops are important and aren't profitable, to have them pay for water would devastate those farmers. This example involving China is not that scenario. Almonds are a highly profitable crop (if you don't have to pay for the 1.8 gallons of water it takes to raise each nut) that alone consumes 10% of CA public water to makes billions for a small group of individuals (increasingly hedge funds as well). Web Link Web Link

Bringing attention to this isn't shaming farmers or shaming almonds, but highlighting the status quo is neither fair or sustainable. Products must reflect their true prices including social and environmental costs. If even a few more people are aware of this injustice, then any personal attack on my character is worth it.

Posted by Here is a thought
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 10, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Without farmers, you wont be eating. I say give them water and stop the developers from build more wasteful housings. In the long run that would help the most.

Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2015 at 5:13 pm

@Here is a thought

And without developers and builders where would you be living? I know you're trying to sound pithy but it doesn't help when you make a comment that dumb.

Posted by Chrostopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 10, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Correction: earlier I posted it took 1.8 gallons to grow an almond, that's incorrect, it's 1.1 gallons. Reference from the Atlantic, "The Dark Side of Almond Use" Web Link

Following link shows how much of that is for domestic consumption vs export, also showing a comparison to urban water use:
Web Link

Posted by Educated Citizen
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 10, 2015 at 10:17 pm

"There is nothing racist by pointing out the facts that people of all nations should seek sustainable consumption and eating practices.”

But your attacks on farmers did not indicate that everybody everywhere should modify every single aspect of their lives to be “sustainable”. You simply attacked California farmers for exercising their water rights to make a living. You keep bring up “China”, so it’s clear you have a bone to pick with them. Please keep race out of this conversation.

"Is it sustainable for the planet for us to grow water-intensive crops in a water-scarce state to shop across the world at prices that do not reflect the true cost, since the producers do not have to pay for the water?”

You are showing more ignorance. The producers did pay for the water. They paid dearly for the water rights and the people that sold it to them received extremely high compensation. It is clear that your only education on the historical water rights in California is to do superficial google searches to support whatever point you are trying to make. Google is a great search engine, but it is pretty useless if you are undereducated.

"Bringing attention to this isn't shaming farmers or shaming almonds, but highlighting the status quo is neither fair or sustainable. Products must reflect their true prices including social and environmental costs. “

How many cents per kilobyte do you pay for for your internet usage at home? Oh, you are on a fixed unlimited plan? Is that really fair? Some subscribers use very little, but I bet you use a whole lot. It seems that these other subscribers are paying for your usage and you aren’t paying a true and fair price.

"If even a few more people are aware of this injustice, then any personal attack on my character is worth it.”

Every time you write something on these forums, the public perception of your character is judged and valued lower and lower. Nobody is attacking your character but yourself.

This is America. We have this thing called the Constitution. We have the rule of Law. You can’t just shutdown someones multi-generational business simply because you want to keep your ornamental landscapes green. Why don’t you use your beloved google search engine to search for a good online course on democracy?

Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2015 at 10:43 pm

@Educated Citizen

Again, you might want to avoid snotty "above the fray" type responses when you clearly don't even know basic differences between "race" and nationality.

Posted by @Robert
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 10, 2015 at 11:05 pm

Guess you don't know anything about race and China. It's never too late to earn that GED!

Keep that lawn green!!!!

Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 11, 2015 at 9:32 am

Democracy depends of a free exchange of ideas.
It is regretful that some try to stop that exchange through personal attacks. Such tactics chill a free exchange of ideas, and there is very little democratic about that.

China is a relevant topic in a discussion on how to conserve water because it's the largest buyer of many of the state's most water intensive crops.
Web Link
Web Link

That wouldn't be such an issue if water was fully reflected in the prices of those exports. In order to ensure that farming can thrive in California, tough priorities have to be decided. We can't rely on the past, ignore the present water crisis, and then hope for any promising future. Nor can urban reforms work alone. Agricultural water reform is as much for the benefit of future farmers as it is for our own children's children.

Many farmers are struggling through our water crisis, reform isn't about them, it's about those who are profiting handsomely off public resources to export products (at artificially low prices/high profits). We can't help the farmers that are struggling until we reform the farmers (more corporations than farmers) that are gaming the system. Big agricultural would like farmers to think that they are in the same boat as them, and that the enemy are urban liberals and small fish, but it is those who make billions of the current situation that threaten farmers' sustainable future. Web Link

If someone disagrees with ideas, then please challenge the ideas. I'm not afraid to continue to post, but when people start to make personal attacks, many are then intimated to post. These forums then become far less meaningful.

Posted by Shameful
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 12, 2015 at 1:47 am

Why are people bringing China into all of this? We should not bring back McCarthyism and brand American farmers as traitors for selling products to the highest bidder, which just happens to be China. "Better Dead than Red"? Really?

If we hate communism so much, then we should be applauding the farmers for leveraging the free market system and selling to the highest bidder. If the argument against the almond farmer is scientifically strong, then it shouldn't matter if they ship their product to China or if they sell it to us in California. The only reason to play the "China card" is to invoke cultural/racial bias and fear. Clearly, they don't have a strong argument, so are going for the emotional one.

The funny part is this attack on almond farmers is just a red herring argument. Alfalfa and grazing uses a tremendous amount more water than Almonds. The difference? Certain individuals that post her LOVE their meat! Even as the cows create a lot of greenhouse gases and will doom our planet and species to extinction, they would prefer to shut down American nut farmers and keep their green lawns, golf courses and farm animal slaughterhouses.

Very Shameful indeed!

Posted by OK then
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 12, 2015 at 6:31 am

Lets not call out countries so we don't offend the sensitive nature of some. Lets just say that using our water to grow almonds that will only be exported to other countries is a waste of our resources at home.
BTW, it takes 250+ gallon of water to make just one 1/2 gallon of almond milk.
Let's not export our water away. What's in your fridge?

Posted by Red herring
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 12, 2015 at 8:59 am

What a crock! This whole "exporting water" argument is designed to fuel the hatred that some have for other countries and cultures.

This is not a red state folks. Sure, racism exists here (look at how strong the opposition to VTA projects are which are heavily relied on by minorities and blue collar workers), so please move to Alabama, South Carolina or the like. You can be with your people and discrimminate all you like.

Let's focus on how we can get suburban and urban users to stop wasting so much water. Every day I see a sprinkler soaking the sidewalk outside people's homes. This is just the tip of the iceberg though. With this obvious lack of care, I'm sure there is massive waste going on inside the home too.

Developing land is also quite damaging to the land and our water. Replacing native trees that hold water with homes that do nothing but consumer water is what really imbalanced this state water-wise.

Posted by Water Waste
a resident of another community
on Apr 12, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Look, just because you don't see it or have deluded yourself into thinking it's not waste, don't be so dense. The farmers "waste" a lot more water than the urban users consume in total.

Water is a renewable resource. While it may be wasteful to have a grass lawn in Palm Springs, it's quite a different thing in the Bay Area. Lawns are useful. Keep in mind that those who water lawns pay lots of money for this water. This may be waste to you, but it's accounted for. They pay double what you do per gallon. Get off it.

State-wide the situation varies considerably. Surprise surprise, someone with a 12 acre property in Morgan Hill and 3 people living on it uses a lot more water than 3 people living in an apartment building in Mountain View. So what?

Posted by Water Waste
a resident of another community
on Apr 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Here's another variety of water "waste"

Web Link

California Beef Growers sure stink up the feed lots along I5. SO much excrement in such a confined space. The stench around Harris Ranch is amazing. Of course, a lot of these animals have flesh destined for Asia, rather than California. Still, it would help if people within the state ate less meat, and specifically ate less beef. The water savings would be considerable.

Posted by Class warfare
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 12, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Let's review "Water Waster" comments:

"The farmers "waste" a lot more water than the urban users consume in total."

That is simply not true. 95%+ water usage in a suburban home is used to irrigate non-native plant species for ornamental purposes, which by definition is 100% waste. Compare this to a farmer that produces food to support themselves, their families and feed people around the world. That water is by definition not wasted.

"Water is a renewable resource."

EVERYTHING is a renewable resource. Even OIL is a renewable resource. Just takes time. What a silly thing to write!

"While it may be wasteful to have a grass lawn in Palm Springs, it's quite a different thing in the Bay Area. "

How NIMBY of you. I guess you are enjoying your Bay Area lawn, so dumping water on it is not wasteful. Since you don't have a property in Palm Springs, I guess you oppose that... Another sign of ignorance.

"Lawns are useful."

Wow. What a stupid thing to write. Not even ignorant--just stupid. Even the oh-so-dreaded almonds are so much more useful than stupid lawns. They are saving lives as people switch away from junk foods to consume the far more nutritious almond product.

"Keep in mind that those who water lawns pay lots of money for this water. This may be waste to you, but it's accounted for. They pay double what you do per gallon. "

Even more ignorance. The water is free, but what urban/suburban users are paying for is the treatment and delivery of it. Farmers that pump up well water pay for that all by themselves. In fact, every single farmer pays far more annually in equipment, maintenance and electricity to bring the water to them than any urban/suburban user. So, it's really the suburban user that is getting the free ride.

"Get off it."

Uh, you "get off it." Stop spreading your ignorance and/or deceit to the community.

"Surprise surprise, someone with a 12 acre property in Morgan Hill and 3 people living on it uses a lot more water than 3 people living in an apartment building in Mountain View. So what?"

Actually, you don't know that. It's possible that the Morgan Hill property doesn't do laundry and dishes every day. The apartment they are renting is helping to pay for a swimming pool, which uses far more water than an entire neighborhood. Just because they don't sit on a lot of acreage doesn't mean they aren't directly or indirectly wasteful.

Now that we have gone through "Water Waster's" latest posting and added up all the fallacies, I hope everybody can see that greedy people like that do not have the truth behind them.

Posted by Water Waste
a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Class Warfare? It doesn't matter who you are. That beef you eat uses over 3 CCF per pound to produce. Eating the new 1/3 pounder at McDonalds can add up to a lot of water use. Choose the chicken instead. It's just as cheap.

If some family goes to McDonalds each week and has a meal, with 4 people eating quarter pounders, that's 12 CCF per month in water consumption. Up that to third pounders and it becomes 15 CCF per month. That's double the reported Mountain View average residential water use for those 4 people. Eat beef at McDonald's once a week and TRIPLE your water use just from those meals.

All these rich people pigging out at McDonald's are the water problem.

Posted by
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 14, 2015 at 2:09 pm

One thing is clear: we need to raise the price of water. It's a scarce resource, and it should be priced appropriately. If water is cheap for everyone, then everyone will continue to use as much as they want and that is profitable, and we will run out, and then we will have none for anyone (except for extremely expensive desalination).

This has nothing to do with punishing any one particular use of water on moral grounds. I have my own personal opinions on what uses of water are justified or unjustified. For example, I don't play golf, and I think golf courses in dry climates are an absurd extravagance that we could all do without. Some people are vegetarians and think that eating beef is an extravagance that we could all do without.

Rather that fight about these subjective judgments in the political arena, let's raise the price of water and let the free market decide. Maybe grassy lawns, golf courses, beef, or almond exports will become less economically feasible. Maybe more efficient water use and reclamation methods will become more attractive.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Sometime I ago was talking about water and housing units. All new development must put in water saving devices, gray water recovery systems, native plants for landscaping. After all we are still producing jobs.

But some how I was told that people living in apartments waste more water then the average homeowner. I don't have 3 bathrooms, 2 yards, a vineyard, 3 cars and 2,500 sqaure foot house.

How i save water in my studio I take my bath water to flush the toliet, water the plants, clean the sink and toliet. I fill a pan to wash my dishes which along with the extra bathtub might go down the drain. The water I use to rinse goes for watering plants, cleaning or back in the bathtub.

I have a slow drain.

Posted by Expert Water Saver
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2015 at 5:34 pm

I live in a box and when it rains, I shower, the dishes get washed and the toilet gets flushed. Worship my thrift.

Posted by Water
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 14, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Raise the price of water? Water is free. To get it delivered to you costs money.

We have major traffic congestion in this area. Currently, driving during rush hours costs the same amount that it does when the roads are empty. That doesn't make any sense. We should charge tolls on every road and add time-based premiums.

Why haven't we done that yet? Oh, yes! Not everybody has six-figure jobs!

So, let's go back to water. People need water to survive and the suggestion to pile on a bunch of charges so that the impoverished will suffer even more is ridiculous!

Most of our water shortage comes from massive over-development. The planning departments (city, regional and state) should have imposed special fees since their damage to the environment (besides the obvious tree and animal killing) includes water. Since that wasn't done, it's time to catch up. Tax new developments heavily, but provide discounts if they leave most of the property unpaved with native plant species. Paving things over just blocks the absorption into our soils and aquifers.

Golf courses and ornamental lawns do not produce anything of value, so those should be taxed heavily. These revenues could go into a grant program for farmers to spend on re-developing their irrigation practices.

Posted by @Water
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 15, 2015 at 7:03 am

"Golf courses and ornamental lawns do not produce anything of value,"

Just calling out that this statement was thought up by you and the decision about "anything of value" is your own personal opinion which you now wish to force on others. If someone wants to forgo 30%-40% of their normal water usage and makes adjustments to preserve some landscaping, that should be heralded as a 30-40% savings, regardless of what you can see externally (because you're not seeing the full picture...get it?)

Also, please clarify what kind of water recycling system you use in your home?

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 15, 2015 at 5:45 pm

True is a registered user.

Went to the Giants game last night (ugh, they lost again) and on the way home from the train station I walked by the Mountain View Sport Pavilion at the corner of Castro and Miramonte. The sprinklers were running on the lawns out front and apparently had been for quite some time as the runnoff was sufficient enough to soak the entire sidewalk in front of the complex and run at least 200yds down the gutter toward the middle school.

A whole bunch of wasted water (note that you and I are paying for) sent down the drain by the same municipality that wants to "crack down" on your water usage.

I tell ya what. When the city gets serious about it's water waste (ornamental lawns, athletic fields [replace them with field turf], and golf courses) I'll consider making bigger changes than I already have. Until then I'll go about my business as I have been.

...and it bears repeating.

We needed more storage (dams) 40yrs ago. California's population has roughly doubled in that time. Now we really, REALLY need more storage. It'll be expensive but in the long term it's the only solution that makes economic sense.

Posted by @@Water
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 12:27 am

I think there are a lot of wealthy Mountain View residents that spend a lot of money putting in solar panels on their roofs and water saving and recycling systems in their homes so they can lord it over all the people who cannot afford to do this.

You asked what system I have? Here is my system:

I don't water my landscape. It is made up of California Native plants, so no additional watering is necessary.
I use the absolute bare minimum water in my home. My bill is about $30/month.

If someone wastes thousands of gallons of water a month, I don't care what water recycling system they are using. It's still a lot of water gone. The comment just before this one testifies to a flood of water on our sidewalks from irrigating the city's own lawns!!! Walk around the neighborhoods in the early morning and there will always be a few sprinklers soaking the sidewalk. Does the pavement really need to be watered? And farmers are being yelled at for growing healthy food that feeds people and keeps themselves off of welfare?

It's very sad that as people get wealthier doing high-tech work, they forget how far removed they are from producing tangible goods. So many people her in the valley are getting rich off of developing websites and services that do nothing but capture our personal information and sell it to companies who then use it to sell us garbage we don't need..or is actually harming us. .

Posted by @Water
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 7:11 am

So Water is here not only to tell you how much water to use, they are hereto dictate what uses THEY feel are important. Apparently you could shut down all water usage but if one cup goes towards anything he/she has decided is not of use(in her opinion), then she's here to tell people they are bad. (Idealogue-ism)
We're a family of 5. We have a water bill just at 110 each month(hmm, less actual useage per person that your single self). We capture 100% of bath, shower and sink water directly, and also filter our laundry and capture that.
Tell me, what should people do with all the water they are recycling? Well, we're recharging our groundwater with it, but sadly(for you apparently) our fruit trees other plants get in the way and some actually uptake the water.

Now you may consider that waste, but lets look closer. We're already using less per person than you as well as recycling a HUGE percentage of our household water so I think you should hold a mirror up and realize how you are acting. You seem to be using all your water only once, we're borrowing ours then putting it back into the groundwater. Preach on, but I won't listen to anyone using more water AND not even bothering to recapture the household usage.
PS, I just got back from my morning walk. 2 miles, I saw nobody running sprinklers. Just saying.
Lets start telling people what kind of cars to drive next. Also, I really don't think you know how tech jobs work. That was a funny, but clueless add on. Thank a techie that you are here to spread your ideology on the internet by using your tangible smart phone or a tangible laptop with routing done by tangible routers and modems using the tangible phone lines, tangible satellite or tangible fiber optic connection options. You really sound clueless and out of touch in this area, but you still have plenty of advice for the other guy, eh?

Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2015 at 8:55 am

Sparty is a registered user.

I notice the broken sprinklers at Castro Elementary as well as the median sprinklers on El Camino do a great job of watering the pavement.

In fact the median sprinklers on El Camino seem to be doing a good job of making sure the sewers don't get clogged up by washing away debris along the curbs

Posted by Brian G.
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 16, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Obviously broken sprinklers are an issue that has nothing to do with yard condition. Municipalities watering road landscaping with potable water should be halted immediately.

One thing is clear in this age of new technology and water reuse. You can tell nothing from how much water a person uses solely based on the condition of their yards.

Posted by @@Water
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Actually, we are a family of four, so thanks for pointing out how much more we save than you. Who cares how much you reuse if you are still pulling lots of water out of our system???

It doesn't matter really. You are the one trying to do one upmanship. My point is that suburban hipsters calling farmers water wasters is insane. To compare having a lush green lawn to producing food as equally worthwhile is a non-starter.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 16, 2015 at 2:07 pm

True is a registered user.

Another data point:

Mid-day, yesterday our state transportation department was irrigating the iceplant along 85 between ECR & Fremont.

Iceplant....along a highway....with water you are paying for.

Posted by Lush green lawn
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm

People want to simplify everything to an either/or issue. Some Farmers DO waste water, some farmers DON'T waste water. Some farmers DO export 100% of their almond crop to china, some don't. Some DO steal water because they feel entitled. Luckily more obey the law.

The problem is few are willing to take the time to actually look at this very complicated issue. They just want knee jerk, "my side or your wrong" type discussions chuck full of alienating name calling of the other side(apparently if you don't farm, you're get called an urban hipster). The funny part is, they are the ones who have split into two "Sides". In this case it's urban hipsters vs. farmers, yet to the knowledgeable and educated, it's clear that it is far more complex of an issue

I'm on your side if you're saving water, whatever you do. I dislike it (a lot!) if you do not reuse your water or if you are a farmer using this precious public resource only to sell nuts to china. Its a bit protectionist, I know, but it's reality. If you want tips on how to recycle your wasted down the drain water, please check out Google. Once we reduce use, we can all reduce our waste.

Posted by Gross
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Disgusting! I am not going to reuse water by spraying my dirty, bacteria-laden water outside where a breeze will take it into my neighbors yard. Childeren play there and it would be quite rude to do so.

Instead, let's put in native, drought-tolerant plants and reduce our water use.

Posted by Someone needs to say this
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm

How about we all just obey the law and butt the heck out of other people's business. We just need to obey the laws. That-is-all.
BOOM! There. Now go get bunched up over something else.
You can still get all smug if you see someone violating the LAW but not because it goes against someone's opinion of how one's yard should or should not look.

BTW, I don't recycle myself...maybe sometimes from the tub or sink, but I do know enough about the technology and the application to know that your fears are based in ignorance about how it all works. That's common, but most fears and apprehensions are eased after education about newer technology.

Whatever, just everyone obey the laws and we'll get upset over those who break the laws. Deal? Deal. You take good care of each other now :)

Posted by @True
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2015 at 2:50 am

A couple of species of Ice Plant are considered Xeriscape. You barely need to water them. That's why they use them on hills along freeways.

Posted by Rolling Eyes
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 17, 2015 at 5:38 am

Here's an idea. Not everyone needs to do what others do or suggest. For example:
We do not all need to drive a hybrid or electric car.
We do not all need to put solar panel on our roof
We do not all need to re-landscape our yards.
We do not all need to be vegan
We do not all need to use medical cannabis
We do not all need to switch to grey water recycling systems
We do not all need to ride bikes

We do not all need to do anything but obey the laws and leave each other alone.
Live YOUR life within the law and don't worry so much about others doing the exact same thing.

Posted by Zombie Lawn
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 17, 2015 at 9:27 am

My problem is that my lawn simply will not die! I have a teeny tiny square patch that I have stopped watering last year. The other areas need no water (ultra low water plants).
We hate the idea of good water going to waste by just flowing into the bay, so we catch our sink and shower water as we wait for it to heat up. The best place I can pour out this water is onto the patch of lawn. If I dump it on my low water plants, they'll get over watered. The lawn stays green despite all attempts to ignore it. I guess I could take it out and have a mud patch, but why? The end result would not change one bit except to appease the lawn police.

Posted by Mr KnowItAll
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm

The water "shortage" issue will never be resolved until the PEOPLE and their political groups responsible are identified and held directly responsible. That would be none other than the current "Governor" Jerry MOONBEAM Brown, his cadre of democrat homies in Sacramento, and the radical environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, whom they have taken literally HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars from. These individuals and organizations have directly opposed and defeated every single proposed new dam site since the mid 1970's, and have actively opposed and sued and managed to tie up in the courts for years, every single desalinization plant that has been proposed by various cities and other municipalities. These projects, if they would have been allowed to go forward by the aforenamed individuals and groups, would have been able to supply a constant volume of fresh water so that there would be no direct caused water shortage "crisis" today, and into the foreseeable future. Refusal to hold those responsible guilty of this mass crime against the People of California is criminal. In the meantime, we find ourselves with the SAME people who caused this "crisis" ordering us to DO WITHOUT, to PAY MORE, and to relinquish OUR PRIVATE PROPERTY wells and springs to the direct control of their power hungry FASCISt greedy hands. Stop the madness, stop these criminals. They must be OUTED for who they are, and what they have done to the People of California.

Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 18, 2015 at 4:40 pm

To the Bailey Park poster known as "Mr KnowItAll" (as if!) -- take your meds, dude. Seriously.

Posted by ...and?
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 10:41 am

Brown also took millions from conservative agricultural interests. Ag faces no mandated reductions. What's your point?

Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 20, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Just three doors down from my house, there is a new lawn being rolled out. Has this household heard of our drought?

Posted by No Lawn Shamers!
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 21, 2015 at 10:19 am

If they use recycled water that would normally just flow out to the bay, they are actually doing more than most, while also maintaining a living lawn.
I can keep my lawn green by simply using the water from our plugged shower tub each day. 4 x 5 minute showers in the morning for our family fills the tub about 3/4 full. The point is a green lawn means nothing in this age of water reuse.

I could not plug my shower but I like to collect the water to use again. I pour the shower water back into the ground rather than just having it go to waste down the sewer. The lawn just happens to be in the way of my recharging of the ground aquifer. The greenish color is a flag to all showing that I'm not just using our water once, we're capturing and recycling our household water, and I'm PROUD of that.

Posted by Greedy lawn owner
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 21, 2015 at 7:41 pm

I love my Kentucky blue lawn. It requires lots of water, so I have a water recyxling system. Even so, I make sure to run the dishwasher every day and in the summers will do laundry every day too.

Now, I spend a couple months in the summer abroad, so I run the irrigation system full blast to keep my lawn green and lush.

But, I own a water recycling system, so I look down on all of you...

Posted by Made up Story
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 22, 2015 at 6:38 am

Looks like someone is out of fact bullets so they made up a story. That's how it comes off anyway. Talk to people face to face if you have a problem, but get ready to have your hat handed to you when they show you their water bill.

Posted by Dickster
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 23, 2015 at 9:52 pm

"psr" makes several good point, particularly about a moratorium on new housing. Consider this: our households have been asked to save 25% more than previous years. OK, so three (3) households save 75%, then ONE new home takes that 75% for itself, and NOTHING is saved. We must curtail new housing until this drought is officially over.

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