Neda Simeonova is editorial director of Water & Wastes Digest. Simeonova can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1011.
Last Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in California.
In 2013, the state experienced one of the driest years on record, and this year has remained extremely dry with no rain in the forecast for the next several weeks. Brown has asked state agencies to use less water, and residents and businesses to cut their water usage by 20%, according to an NBC News report.
In addition to dangers from devastating wildfires, the severe drought is threatening California’s agriculture business. Of the 43 million acre-ft diverted from surface waters or pumped from groundwater, California’s agriculture irrigates 9.6 million acres using approximately 34 million acre-ft of water, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
While water conservation is a good immediate step, an even wider use of recycled water may need to be accepted.