On January 17, Governor Brown declared a state of drought emergency in California. This is following the driest year on record in 2013 and an exceptionally warm and dry January 2014. Brown insisted officials prepare for water shortages, and asked for supply companies to implement shortage plans. In addition, Brown asked residents to reduce their water usage, according to his State of Emergency in January. Of California’s 58 counties, 27 counties have been declared disaster areas due to the drought; El Dorado County is one of them.
Dave Eggerton, General Manager of El Dorado Water Agency told Village Life Newspaper, El Dorado County, “We don’t know if this is a multi-year drought or a mega drought that lasts for 10 to 20 years or more”. For this reason, the agency has taken action and started using its Drought Plan.
The El Dorado Irrigation District has declared its districts under a Stage Two water warning, which urges consumers to reduce water usage by 30%. Currently, as of March 25th, consumers have only reduced by 9% according to www.EID.org. If increased to a Stage Three, up to 50% water reduction will be enforced by rationing water supplies. If increased to Stage Four, greater than 50% of water restriction will be enforced with extensive measures.
Despite the warnings, I continue to see area residents watering lawns, washing cars, and keeping sprinklers on, all unnecessary considering the dire circumstances. The weeks without rain are not stopping my neighbors from keeping their landscaping pretty with their drip system draining into the street. The outcome of this irresponsibility can be horrible. I have lessened my water usage by taking baths instead of showers, and only filling the tub halfway, washing only full loads of laundry, and forgetting about my back yard entirely. The El Dorado Irrigation District has come up with a valuable list of tips in order to help residents save water. It includes, fixing broken sprinkler heads immediately, using brooms instead of hoses to clean up, and lowering showering times.