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Yes, we're in a drought — but it's no longer a temporary emergency

Original post made on Oct 10, 2021

California's declining water supply, the current drought and global warming could lead to serious and unrecoverable environmental consequences unless action is taken now, the state's drought manager warned.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, October 10, 2021, 8:39 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 10, 2021 at 10:34 am

Online Name is a registered user.

How will increasing the area's density help us cope with droughts and increased fire risks? Do none of these new residents and commuters use water?

Office rents are at record highs. Tech continues to displace existing communities, resident-serving businesses and residents.

How much more are we expected to conserve support this growth?

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2021 at 9:13 am

Bystander is a registered user.

In the past 20 months we have all been spending more time at home. We have been handwashing more, we have been flushing more and various offices, schools, restaurants, and even gyms, etc. must have been using less water as a result. None of that is taken into account when we are told to use less water. Anyone who has lived in the area for the past decade or so have already instaled low flow everything and become adept at reducing water for things around the home. Telling those of us to do more particularly when we are spending more time at home is not going to go down well. Short of doing laundry at laundromats and showering at gyms, we are going to find it hard to conserve even more.

California is going to have to do more to give consumers the basic water service, per person, and that means improving collections, improving desalination, and improving sensible methods of charges. I don't want to see a surcharge for using less water!

Posted by Banes
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Oct 11, 2021 at 11:20 am

Banes is a registered user.

And yet Newscum is encouraging everyone build 3 more units on their neighborhood lots, creating more water demands.

The mega billion dollar companies need to be taxed to create the water resources for the demand for housing they are creating.

Posted by rhody
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 11, 2021 at 4:23 pm

rhody is a registered user.

I strongly agree with BYSTANDER's comments above. And I would love to learn what MORE I can possibly do when I already DON'T water outside my house front or back, and conserve water indoors as much as possible for 1 person occupancy. In fact, I would really appreciate seeing



in this "Palo Alto Online" column/feature/Town Square/newspaper.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 11, 2021 at 4:35 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

I too agree with Bystander that it's absurd to charge us more for conserving more water -- as PA has done for years -- just as it "overcharges" us aka steals $20,000,000 from us each and every year for utilities and then has the nerve to charge us AGAIN to appeal the judgment that PA Utiities owes us money!

For most of us, there's no way to conserve MORE water other than continuing to resist the densification of the area and to ban more office construction.

Areas have thrived that are not so dependent on commuters who have outnumbered us 4:1 have economies yet we have to pay the price of service cutbacks for the short-sighted greed of our "leaders" and "planners" who evict long-term downtown residents like those of the President Hotel and then waste OUR money coming up with studies that day -- DUH -- we need more downtown residents like those they just evicted for an empty high-end hotel.


Posted by tmp
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2021 at 4:53 pm

tmp is a registered user.

We are not in a drought!!! The water we get now is the normal amount and the annual rainfall will get lower according to projections.

All of those posters above commenting on overpopulation and the need to plan long term for a sustainable population to survive in this area are correct. Unfortunately over government is in the pocket of developers who only see in the short term and want to make as much money as possible while continuing to destroy the environment.

I guess the best we can do is try to find reasonable long term thinkers to vote for but there are usually none to be found. Why don't educated environmentally savvy people ever run for office? Must be because the only people getting money to run are fronted by giant corporations and developers who don't care if they destroy the environment.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 12, 2021 at 10:14 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

Drove through middle of Sunnyvale recently where strict garden watering limits in place; looks terrible and a fire hazard.
Brown weeds lower property values, are unsightly and a fire risk.
Some middle ground of reasonable watering must be maintained.

Posted by Leslie York
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2021 at 12:33 am

Leslie York is a registered user.

You can't conserve your way out of a drought. Water has to come from somewhere.

CA has been having droughts every few years since the mid '70s, almost half a century. Remember placing a brick in your toilet tank to save water? If city leaders were thinking ahead they would be looking into building a municipal desalination plant in the baylands. I have penciled out the figures based on what other CA cities (Carlsbad) pay to operate a municipal desal plant to augment their water supply. If the cost were spread out over all PA water customers it would be feasible. Desal plants use a tremendous amount of electricity and there is the matter of what to do with the extracted salt, but once you use up all the potable water and rainfall isn't coming, what are you going to do? No use waiting for the State to act because they probably never will. Israel has the same problem as CA of intermittent rainfall and they have embraced desalination in a big way. Maybe we should be looking at how they do it in Israel.

Areas with big, palatial estates with expansive lawns and landscaping consume the most water per capita so there's a lot of inequity there, but that's another discussion. My mother was smart. In the mid '70s she made yours truly dig up the front lawn. She replaced it with pea gravel which she never had to water, and she managed to make it look lovely with kind of a Japanese motif.

The City of Palo Alto has pissed away millions studying grade separation which so far has come to naught. IMO water is more important than relieving automobile traffic congestion. With all the Stanford and Silicon Valley brainiacs around, CPA should be at the forefront in dealing with a drought.

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