As we narrowly escape the latest in a series of heat waves this summer here in Southern California, we are reminded of what the Governor warned us about just five months ago: “the next drought could be around the corner. Conservation must remain a way of life.”
It’s important for the public to continue their drought-conscious habits if conservation is to truly become a way of life in our Golden State. While Los Angeles reached its goal of a 20 percent reduction in per capita water use last January, we know that the record-hot summer will lead to an uptick in water use, especially outdoor watering. There was actually an increase in daily per capita residential water use in the South Coast hydrologic region from June to July 2017 as calculated by the State Water Resources Control Board. While we should continue to encourage people to wash their cars less and water their lawns before 9 am and after 4pm, there are actually many more unconventional ways for us to save even more water.
Reducing meat consumption
Did you know producing 1 pound of beef requires between 2,000 and 8,000 gallons of water, while the production of 1 pound of tofu only requires 302 gallons of water, according to a study by researchers at UC Davis? It’s true! And while it’s not realistic for everyone to switch to a plant-based diet, we can save a lot of water by being part-time vegetarians one or two days a week. Better still, reducing meat consumption also significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps combat climate change.
Curious about more ways to conserve water and fight climate change? Well, it turns out that lowering water consumption saves energy (and lowers GHG emissions)! While the City of Los Angeles’ LA Aqueduct is entirely gravity fed and actually generates electricity, the same isn’t true for the larger water supply imported to Southern California through the State Water Project's California Aqueduct. A significant amount of electricity is used to pump water through the State Water Project to bring it over the mountains and into Southern California. Water is also used in the production