Under orders to slash water use amid a historic drought, cities and towns across the state saved about 75 billion gallons in July, eclipsing Gov. Jerry Brown's once-daunting order for a 25% reduction.
But, in a paradox of conservation, water agencies say the unprecedented savings — 31% in July over July 2013 — are causing or compounding a slew of problems.
Sanitation districts are yanking tree roots out of manholes and stepping up maintenance on their pipes to prevent corrosion and the spread of odors. And when people use less potable water, officials say, there's less wastewater available to recycle...
"It's unintended consequences," said George Tchobanoglous, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis. "We never thought [conservation] was a bad thing. Every citizen thinks he or she is saving mankind, and I'm sympathetic, but it just so happens that our basic infrastructure was not designed with that in mind."
Wednesday, September 02, 2015
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
When you let your lawn go brown ("brown is the new green"), bad things can happen--and not just to your property values: