Water Usage: Past, Present and Future

Thursday, July 20, 2017

At a West Elm Store seminar, they talked about the history of the California drought because California has been experiencing water issues and lack of rain for the past couple of years in Southern California. The history of irrigation and landscaping started with the Native Americans and Settlers using water for farming.

1848:  The Gold Rush brought increased the population in California because many people came to California to seek gold. The hydraulic mining caused debris and flooding.

1913:  Aqueducts and Regulations were created.

1928: California experienced the worst drought in the 20th century. Hoover Dam was authorized and Metropolitan Water District was created.

1929 to 1934: There was drought because of low rainfall—6 to 11 inches per year.

1940 to 1942: California got more rain—25 to 37 inches per year, and there wasn’t any drought.

1941: The first delivery of water from Colorado River.

1973: The first delivery of water from Feather River.

The 1980s: Era of Environmentalism conflict with Mono Lake Litigation.

1982 to 1983: California got more rain—25 to 37 inches per year—which improved the situation and there wasn’t any drought.

1987 to 1993: There was drought again because of low rainfall—6 to 11 inches per year.

1991: Desalination Plant in California

2007: California drought started.

2014: Groundwater Pump Regulation

2015: Wide Water Reduction

#1 Cute Water Fountain at Mason Park, by my house. I like the pet one on the ground.

Due to an increase in the population in California, water sources changed. Presently, the state water project from Colorado River provides 52% water. LA Aqueduct provides36%, Groundwater provides 11%, and Recycled Water provides 1%.There are 18 million people in Southern California. Most people use desalination plan, alternatives, and other recycled methods. 77% of the water goes to agriculture.

A Reservoir is a large storage of water, such as Lake Oroville Reservoir. An Aqueduct is pipes used for transporting water, such as Colorado River aqueduct, LA aqueduct from eastern Sierras.

Soil moisture sensors, sprinkler nozzles, smart irrigation timers, rain barrels cisterns, and drip irrigation are some ways to help you save water in your yard. Turf removal is rarely used nowadays. For more information, check out

Owens Lake had a drought. By Owens River, a new dam was built around Owens Lake until November 1, 2016. It is a small dam, which delivers and provides about 15% of water, and the water level will likely decrease, similar to when Lake Mead water levels went down about 139 feet in elevation.

To improve the drought situation for the future, there will be water restrictions for controlling water usage. It would likely lead to a rise in sea level. The ocean is warming and air temperature is increasing. Extreme weather temperatures will also be increasing.

#4 A Goose walking by at Mason Park

When gardening, use a water-wise garden.

  1. native plants
  2. use turf removal
  3. use organic products
  4. use compost
  5. Plant certain plants during the right weather that match its requirements.
  6. Drought plants don’t need fertilizer, such as lavender, agave, lantana, poppy, strawberry tree, and succulents.
  7. Turf substitutes include such plants as Silver Carpet, CA Meadow Sedge, Dwarf Coyote Bush, Bearberry, and Creeping Myoporum.

#5 Pink Rose Gift for Hope

There are 5 different kinds of irrigation methods: 

  1. Sprays are controlling, which depends on the weather, and it promotes adjustments.
  2. Alternative landscape materials include porous concrete, wood decks, sand set pavers, decomposed granite, pebbles and gravel, and mulch and wood.
  3. Textures and warmth will decrease runoffs and flooding.
  4. Replenish groundwater
  5. Use Renewable and Sustainable materials.


What do you think?


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