As California’s record-breaking drought continues, Cal State Long Beach is trying to reduce its water consumption by 20 percent, according to Paul Winco, the CSULB energy and sustainability manager.
“Basically this is our response to the governor,” Winco said. “CSULB, along with the rest of the [Cal State University], has been asked to reduce water consumption.”
Winco said he is meeting with administrators this week to discuss CSULB’s water conservation policy. He said that CSULB, which consumes roughly 190 million gallons of water per year, has already invested in new technology to reduce its water consumption.
“We have low-flow urinals, a weather-based irrigation [system] … and we have begun to convert our landscape to a drip irrigation system,” Winco said.
Additional efforts to reduce water consumption, such as aerated restroom faucets and new water-efficient landscaping across campus, depend on availability of funds, Winco said.
Winco said, however, that students’ access to water on campus will not be affected by water conservation efforts.
Gov. Jerry Brown asked the state in January to reduce water consumption by 20 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible,” Brown said in a proclamation letter to the state.
Southern California has been preparing for a drought of this degree for a while, which puts the region in a better position than others, according to the Los Angeles Times.
However, Northern and Central California communities that are dependent on their local water supplies have already been placed under rationing, and residents are asked to eliminate outdoor watering. Central Valley growers are being told to expect severe water delivery cuts, according to the LA Times.
Being the state that produces nearly half of the nation’s produce, according to the California Agricultural Production Statistics, Jessica Olave, a senior sociology major, said the aspirations for drought recovery could be higher.
“I think it is interesting that in Los Angeles you have fountains running, when there are entire rural communities that have to cut their water by like 50 percent,” Olave said. “I mean, this is the biggest drought we have on written record and you would think it would be cause for more activism.”
Maran Soliman, a senior business major, said she agrees with Olave that there should be more awareness and action.
“I think it’s scary because people don’t really know about it, so they’re wasting water like everything is normal,” Soliman said.
Soliman says that she tries to do her part in saving water by doing small things like taking shorter showers, and not running water when it is unnecessary.
“It’s great that our campus is trying to save water,” Soliman said. “It shows that our campus is actually doing something about it. Imagine if everyone did that in their own homes.”