The Dry Garden: Wet policy for a dry year

Source: NOAA. Click on the maps to be taken to composite graphics of precipitation trends during La Niña years.

We’ve been getting mixed messages about whether or not we need to conserve water. On one hand, we had a decent local rain year. Last week, the state legislature pulled a water bond from the November ballot that would have driven state-wide conservation. This week, the Los Angeles City Council amended the two-day lawn sprinkler ordinance to a three-day version.

Crisis over?

Not by a long shot. Local rain doesn’t fill our pipes. Of the three main sources that do, Lake Mead, the Colorado River storage reservoir serving Southern California, shrank in July to its lowest level since 1956. Last month, the State Water Resources Control Board concluded that the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is overdrawn by 50%. Southern California could do its part to fix that by reducing water use from