Share this Post:

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Could Southern California Help Save The Delta?

    SIGN-UP for our latest news and action alerts:
   Please leave this field empty

Facebook Fans

Related Blog Entries

by Liz Judge:
Congress v. The Environment: The House Is On Fire

As I write this, members of the House of Representatives continue to debate and move their way through votes on hundreds of amendments to the chamber'...

by Terry Winckler:
Massive Attacks on Environment Launched in Congress

Teabag by teabag, the anti-environment faction in the House of Representatives has filled its federal government spending bil...

by David Lawlor:
Restoring The Smelt And The Bay-Delta Ecosystem

This week, following a challenge from California water districts, the state and corporate agribusiness, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Fish and Wild...

Earthjustice on Twitter

View Tom Turner's blog posts
04 August 2009, 11:11 AM
Water revolution is using locally available water

One of the grandest victories scored by environmental types in California has been the battle to save Mono Lake at the eastern foot of the Sierra Nevada. Owens Lake, to the south, was obliterated by users in the Los Angeles basin, who simply appropriated virtually all the water that once flowed from the mountains into the lake (the easiest and most entertaining way to brush up on this story is to see the movie Chinatown).

The same thing was happening to Mono Lake, but a landmark lawsuit brought by the Audubon Society and a tenacious campaign by a tiny outfit known as the Mono Lake Committee stopped L.A. in its tracks, and Mono is more than holding its own.

The leader of the committee for most of the '80s and '90s was Martha Davis, energetic, tough-minded and tireless. Now, in a heartening twist, Davis has taken over as manager of water policy for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, and is revolutionizing water management in the arid south.

She has helped institute programs to collect and save rainwater, to conserve in a big way, and to recycle and reuse water that previously was simply shunted to the ocean. A fine recent piece  in the Los Angeles Times tells the story in detail. The paragraph that most struck me was this:

 "When the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. studied potential water sources for the region last year, it concluded that increasing conservation, capturing storm water and recycling could yield roughly as much water as Southern California is receiving from the delta."

As anyone who has followed California environmental news knows, the delta is a major battleground, pitting farmers and domestic users against fishermen, with salmon and other aquated species in decline and farmers demanding that the Endangered Species Act be suspended so they can get on with wasting precious water.

A new report from the Pacific Institute, meanwhile, outlines how vast amounts of water can be saved in the agricultural sector, where the real problem lies. We'll get into that in another post presently.

This is a very positive story and citizens from SoCal could take a leaf from this page. Southern California is facing a water shortage and its time citizens came together to adopt simple and inexpensive things to save water in their homes. Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, using a water efficient shower, direct grey water to the garden are only just some of the things you can do. To read more tips on water conservation visit and don’t forget to pass the message of water conservation to friends and family.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <p> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.