My Turn By Charles M. Kelly
We should intensify water conservation
Editor’s note: This article was accurate when it was published in September 2016.
As you know, Paramount recently went back from Stage 2 water rationing to Stage 1 water restrictions. Many California mainland communities are doing this. It seems, on the face of it, a reasonable thing to do. Allow me, with all courtesy, to disagree.
A year before mainland California communities went into Stage 1 water rationing in the first place, the residents of Santa Catalina Island had already gone to Stage 1. Their water shortage has become so severe that they have gone to Stage 3 water rationing. That means cutting back their use by 40 to 50 percent.
As a practical matter, Islanders were skipping showers at least two days a week—in some homes, five days a week—under Stage 2. With Stage 3, the shortage will become more acute and things will become more challenging. Why should we in Paramount care Catalina? Because there is no evidence our drought is abating. The time to stop saving is when the water is flowing. Right now it isn’t. All of California should be moving into Stage 2. Maybe I’m being an alarmist, but every drop we save now will be that many drops we’ll have to do without in the future. And that’s my opinionated drop in the bucket.