In response to California’s dry season, Governor Jerry Brown signed a $687 million drought-relief legislation package on March 1. The package includes goals to recapture storm runoff, use recycled water, and secure emergency supplies to communities that were hard hit by the drought.
The bulk of the funding – $549 million – comes from previously voter-approved bond money. Polluter fines have contributed to $40 million of the fund and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund has given $20 million.
About $21 million will go to housing assistance and $25.3 million will go to food assistance for farm workers directly impacted by the drought. In addition to providing financial relief to those workers, the package will provide funds to help communities more efficiently capture drinking water.
The California Department of Public Health is working on new groundwater replenishment regulations and also on using storm and recycled water for non-drinking purposes with the State Water Resources Control Board. The bill also raises the fine on illegally diverting water.
In short, the new package focuses largely on communities directly drained by the drought and on increasing the efficiency of collecting water. Additional measures are increasing funding to reduce fire fuels in fire-risk areas and providing one million dollars for the Save Our Water public awareness campaign.
According to Assistant Principal Matt Steinecke, CVHS has already been doing a few things to conserve water, even though the district has not provided specific directions to deal with the drought. The synthetic turf of the Trojan Stadium saves the school water along with low-flow nozzles installed in the sinks.
“The biggest consumptions are the bathrooms, the baseball field, and the pool,” Steinecke said.
CVHS students are also contributing to conserving water at school.
“I save water at school by filling up on drinking water at home instead of at school,” said junior Alyssa Mitchell.
Junior Annie Yu also had a helpful tip. “I stop the faucet when I’m not using it, like when I’m putting on soap,” she said.
Additional measures to save water are cleaning paintbrushes in containers instead of letting the water run over them and reporting leaky faucets immediately – according to IBM, a leaky faucet going at a rate of one drip per second wastes 27,000 gallons a year.