The New Normal


Everyone knows that here in California we are in a drought.   It has been difficult convincing people of that over the past several years, but nobody denies it any longer. One thing that I keep hearing, though, is that these things are cyclical, the drought will be over at some point and then we can go back to normal.

There is no “going back to normal”. This is now the New Normal.

Have you driven along the Ventura Freeway and seen the new reservoir being built by Forest Lawn? It looks like they are building a Costco, but it will be two fully enclosed side by side holding tanks. As a recent appointee to RWAG – the Recycled Water Advisory Group – I was given a private tour of that Headworks Reservoir.

This new reservoir will be replacing the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe Reservoirs, both of which will go off line when the new one is completed. The Headworks will hold 110 million gallons of water. Sounds like a lot of water. It is, in fact, about one seventh of the capacity of the two reservoirs it is replacing. The question was posed “How will the DWP make up the difference and be able to deliver the same amount of water to its clients?” The answer is that they will not. All the water saving measures that we are implementing now will set a standard for the reduced amount of water that we will be using into the future.

There is no “going back to normal”. This is now the New Normal.

The New Normal means using climate appropriate plants, permeable surfaces and efficient irrigation in our landscapes. We all can do our part in keeping as much water as possible on our properties and not send it out into the street. This will help replenish the aquifers and keep our river and ocean cleaner.

The New Normal also includes other means of building our potable water supply, one of which is Recycling Water.

Isn’t all water recycled and hasn’t it been so for billions of years? Already a portion of the potable water we use has been recycled upstream from us.  More on recycled water in the future after I get to see the Edward C. Little Recycling Facility.

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