The state of California has just come out of an almost 10 year drought. With an abundance in rain, precipitation and heavy snow in the surrounding mountains in 2019; it was enough to replenish our ground water basins, lakes and reservoirs. Allowing us to come out of a decade’s long drought. After dancing in the rain and celebrating we must also tread lightly and continue to conserve and safeguard our precious naturel resource. As Earth is getting hotter and the ice caps to melting it is very likely we will experience another drought in the near future.
We must continue to conserve water and make it a way of life for generations to come.
There is so much more we can still do to conserve our precious resource. There are plenty of Riverside City homeowners with automatic sprinklers watering their lawns in the rain, and mere hours after a rainfall. In these cases, the soil is already saturated with water leaving the sprinkler water to run off onto the sidewalk and down the street; eventually ending up in the gutter.
Room for improvement is there, with several ways to incentivize and reward the public.
Some incentives and rewards may include: rebates on turf conversion to Xeriscape landscaping. Rebates based on each per square foot of turf converted to a Xeriscape landscaping using native and drought resistant plants. Native and drought tolerant plants discounted at participating retailers. Assign and mandating each city ward abide by a watering schedule as well as implementing a water waste fee for repeated offenders.
Neighbors may report neighbors for water waste and possibly receive a credit reward on their utilities bill. The last is only a possibility and needs to be accessed further,.
The Campaign and announcements should be started 12 months before the commencement of the Riverside Public Utilities Water Conservation Initiative. This would allow the public enough time and notice to familiarize themselves with the new restrictions. The first 12 months of the start of the initiative the residents will only receive notices and warnings of non-compliance to the new water conservation program. This will allow the city residents to become acclimated to the new water standards and schedule. We would promote the initiative on social media, billboards, radio/TV, reminders being sent out via mail, email and text messages. Our Website will have updates and reminders along with including reminders in the monthly statement
According to the United States Census Bureau, between 2014 and 2018 the City of Riverside California had 90,866 households (census.gov/quickfacts). Assuming half of those households are apartments leaving us with 45433 single family homes or households. Estimating 22716 households (half of 45433) take advantage of the Conservation Initiative. “ The average lawn size in California is 5,575 square feet. This is calculated by taking the average lot size in CA, or 7,200 square feet, and subtracting the average home size, 1,625 square feet“ (Homeadvisor,The United States, Ranked by Yard Sizehomeadvisor.com). Estimating the average homeowner converts the front yard of 1000 square feet with a rebate of .75 cents a square foot that would be $750.00 per household and cost the City of Riverside Public Utilities a total of $17,037,000. According to billboard.com, the average cost of a 6-week billboard rental in Riverside California is $3900.00(outdoorbillboard.com). We would require 8.6, 6 week installments for a total of $33800.00 per each Ward for 12 months. Billboards would have to be located in 7 Wards at a cost of $236,600.
Social Media, Media ¬¬¬– $35,000
City gatherings, festivals —$30,000
Inspectors man hours—$1,135,800.00
Misc unforeseen expenses $ 402,600
We must act now to protect our future, our children’s and grandchildren’s future and the future generations precious water supply. We must implement stronger regulations and conservation efforts. There will always be room for improvement. We must remember water is life and without it we are nothing..