What the headline meant was that of the 10% of water used by homes and business 29% was saved. But, 29% of 10% is only 2.9% of all developed water use. So with all the worry about washing cars and watering lawns we only saved 2.9% of the water. And while environmentalists continue to tell Californians that farms, or Big Ag as they like to call farmers, use 80% of the water, what they don't tell you is that over 85% of the water that flows to the Delta flows right out of the Delta and into the ocean.
So we build dams to collect fresh water, but then release it to the ocean where it rapidly turns into salt water, then build desal plants to turn it back into fresh water at great expense, only to see the entire process repeat itself again. Go figure.
So now the drought is over, but the State Water Resources Control Board is in the process of making those emergency drought rules permanent, creating a basis of lasting reductions in the urban landscape. We have no problem with using water wisely. Farmers are the best at doing it. But, we just don't want people to think the state is doing the same thing.
Devin Nunes wrote in a June 2015 article (Man-Made Drought: A Guide To California's Water Wars) that "much of the media and many politicians blame the San Joaquin Valley's water shortage on drought, but that is merely an aggravating factor. From my experience representing California's agricultural heartland, I know that our water crisis is not an unfortunate natural occurrence; it is the intended result of a long-term campaign waged by radical environmentalists who resorted to political pressure as well as profuse lawsuits....Their goal was to remove 1.3 million acres of farmland from production...From Merced all the way down to Bakersfield, and on the entire west side of the Valley as well as part of the east side, productive agriculture would end and the land would return to some ideal state of nature. I was stunned by the vicious audacity of their goal — and I quickly learned how dedicated they were to realizing it."
Californians will be told how important conservation is to solving our water problem, but Charlotte Ely, senior environmental scientist with the State Water Resources Control Board, admitted the real impact when she said, while the expected water savings “will be low, a in the bucket,” over the long term, the rules “would have a lasting impact in changing the way we value and manage water here in California.”
While tens of millions of acre feet are flowing to the ocean you will be told how much you need to sacrifice for a ' in the bucket' to save California. Meanwhile the state continues to pursue the $68-billion high-speed rail project while just $2 or $3 billion of that money could be used to build Temperance Flat and Sites Reservoir and raise Shasta Dam and go a long way solving our water problems. That's a lot more than a in the bucket.