A low-flush toilet can save households up to 18,000 gallons of water in a single year, but those in California are looking to save even more right now. In fact, water guzzling households are now subject to government penalties and potential public disclosure of names.
A new law signed late Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown requires every urban water supplier with more than 3,000 customers on their roster to put in place rules that define “excessive water use” starting January 1.
Once the legislation takes effect, water companies will be faced with two choices: impose tiered rates that charge a higher amount to those households that use more than the targeted goal, or set a fine for households that use more than a certain amount of water in any given billing period.
If companies choose the second option as their plan, then any household using above the set amount of water will have their names made public, according to the new legislation.
“Households that guzzle water — while their neighbors and most other Californians abide by mandatory reductions — will no longer be able to hide and persist in their excess,” said state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-Redwood City, who wrote the measure.
The new law will be put into immediate effect anytime California is in a drought emergency as declared by the governor.
In times like these, Californians are doing everything they can to ensure they use every drop of water nature affords them wisely.
Farmers have even started using drones as a more efficient method of tracking the water levels in their crop fields.
Equipped with state-of-the-art thermal cameras, drones will fly over fields in search of cool or soggy areas, which could indicate that a pest has chewed through an irrigation line or that there’s a leak somewhere.
An estimated 2,100 companies and individuals have permission from the federal government to fly drones over their land for farming.
California farmer Cannon Michael has found the drones incredibly useful on his farm.
“I’ve always been a big fan of technology,” said Michael. “I think it’s really the only way we’re going to stay in business.”
Thanks to technology, a farmer can order a commercial-grade drone online for $2,000 and typically receive it within a few days. After that, all they need to do is connect the drone to a smartphone and it could have countless benefits.
Regardless of career choice, though, the drought in California has been difficult for everyone.
Even though Northern California received some of the best rain this winter in the last five years, Southern California has been in a state of drought since January of 2014.