As the rainy days and early dusks signal fall, our memories of the California drought crisis are slowly being washed away. Although we have experienced improvement in California: 25 percent of California is drought-free, according to the Los Angeles Times — we must take a step back and examine what we have been doing to help this drought and how we will continue to save water.
According to MIT News, researchers in 2014 found that more than half the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas by the year 2050 and at least a billion people will not have enough water.
The next time you take a shower, or leave the water running, picture this specifically: by the end of the day you will have used around 181 gallons of water, according to the California Water Science Center Website. With that amount of water, a person could fill a fair-sized hot tub.
With the improvement we have gained and the awareness we have created, water conservation must become an even higher priority in our daily lives. While the drought seems like a large-scale issue, small changes can go a long way. In our Piedmont community, there have been subtle changes that I believe have been paving the way towards a greater impact.
The Piedmont Beautification Foundation has utilized various drought-resistant plants, according to Mercury News. Pools also seem to have been taking the water conservation matter increasingly seriously. I have seen signs in the locker rooms at the Piedmont Pool and at other high schools, which ask individuals to limit their shower time to a few minutes. In the Bay Area, a movement for water-wise gardening seems to have become prominent over the years.
I believe these are great examples of easy water conservation that we can all implement at home.
It is important for us to realize that this is a continuous issue even if we may not see the immediate effects of the drought here in Piedmont. We have started in the right direction and now that there is news of improvement, it should only be an excuse to continue. As individuals, I believe our role is to implement these kinds of changes into our daily lives. I think we see this as a monumental task— it is— however, the first step is always small.
As is usually the case, fomenting a habit takes practice; however, if clicking a device and messaging someone can be an almost thoughtless process, then turning off the water can be just as doable. It can only take so much time, so much thought, so much energy to turn off the sink and save lots of water. This is just the start, so we must not stop here.