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The Pacific Institute has released a report on how to find the next million acre feet of water in California. As with energy in California, which now has the “loading order”, the conclusion is that conservation and efficiency efforts can achieve water savings for less cost than building new or expanding existing supplies.
An overview of some of the water-efficient practices discussed in the report:
Water savings are available through a wide variety of water-efficient practices in the urban and agricultural sectors. In the urban sector this includes replacing old, inefficient devices with high-efficiency models, as well as lawn conversion, residential metering, and rate structures that better communicate the value of water. In the agricultural sector, best water management practices include weather-based irrigation scheduling, regulated deficit irrigation, and switching from gravity or flood irrigation to sprinkler or drip irrigation systems. Here, we focus on well documented, cost-effective approaches that are already being used in California. We emphasize efficiency improvements rather than behavioral changes because the latter are less easily quantified. Nonetheless, experience in Australia, Colorado, and California in recent years shows that changing water use behavior can also provide very fast and inexpensive savings in emergencies, with long-term benefits.
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A full copy of the report can be found here.
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