Monday, August 10, 2009

Sacramento is No Long Beach (or Sonoma, or Marin, or...)

This 3 page story in the Sacramento Bee shocked me nearly (but not quite!) speechless.
A Bee investigation of water use in Sacramento, based on an examination of three years of metering records, reveals city government itself as the top water scofflaw...

Even when Sacramento issued its first-ever "spare the water" alert this summer, forbidding outdoor watering by residents from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the city's own park and cemetery workers apparently missed the memo...

In the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery off Broadway and Riverside Drive, streams from antiquated jets pooled on crypts. The cemetery may host a drought-resistant garden of native plants maintained by volunteers, but its overall consumption grew by 76 percent from 2006 to 2008, the second-fastest rise of any large user.

Such bad habits are the norm at city agencies. Overall water use at metered city properties shot up by 22 percent in those three drought years, even though water available locally for all users rose by less than 4 percent.

Sacramento could do a 180 on sustainable water use just by emulating Bend, OR, Healdsburg, Newport Beach, and Petaluma, CA, and integrating WeatherTRAK smart controllers into their water management plan. What could be easier?

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