By: Sean Godlewski

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard by now, California is in a major drought, yet according to the San Jose Mercury News, California has increased its water usage by 1% compared to 2011-2013. Since we are now at a stage where 80% of the state is considered to be in an “extreme drought”, we need solutions.

The solution coming out of Sacramento is to fine people up to $500 for wasting water while outside (washing your car without a regulated nozzle, watering lawns, etc.). The fine began in August and interesting enough, enforcement will be up to each city and water district. Let’s see how that goes.

For San Francisco the solution that the city’s Public Utilities Commission has come up with, is to sponsor this sexy ad campaign to try and combat water wasters. Interesting approach…

As for a high-tech solution, we turn to our parched brothers and sisters to the south. The Carlsbad Desalination Project located in San Diego, California is hoping that by 2015 they will desalinate about 50 million gallons of water for the region. Experts in the field don’t believe this to be sustainable yet considering the high cost of the process.

A little further north, the citizens in Orange County have a different approach. The water district there has been using reclaimed water for irrigation purposes for some time now. Recently the county has expanded “toilet to tap” water recycling… yummy.

The mix of persuasive ad campaigns designed to change behavior and the high-tech solutions being tested throughout might help our conservation effects, but as the data shows, Californians aren’t paying attention. Tell your friends – keep those showers short and those lawns dry.