On January 17, 2014 California Governor Jerry Brown proclaimed a California Drought Emergency and asked all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20%.
About two-thirds of California is in "extreme" or "exceptional" drought, the two most severe categories, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The drought is the most severe in California since at least 1977.
Many water suppliers are calling on customers to step up conservation efforts, while some already have implemented mandatory restrictions on water use. Local water agencies and communities across California are beginning to take action in the face of record-dry conditions in early 2014.
Our research team at the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling in collaboration with the UCI Facilities Management is determined to decrease the water use by 20% on the UCI campus and beyond, to raise awareness about the water crisis we are facing, and to recommend alternatives everyone of us can incorporate in our every-day lives to conserve water.
Over the next weeks we will launch various outreach campaigns with the goal of reaching students, faculty, and staff on the UCI campus and local communites to illustrate how pervasive the effects of drought can be.
Small changes can have a big impact on reducing your water footprint. Every drop counts. Get informed and get involved!
The students of Regional Environmental Issues (ESS60B) are taking control when it comes to spreading drought awareness within the UC Irvine community. "Pledge with Pete" will kickoff the campaign, as Peter the Anteater will join students at their booth on ring road to take pledges and challenge the UC Irvine community to conserve water (February 25th and 27th). Students will reach out to UCI’s management and requesting that all water fixtures on campus be turned off until the end of the drought emergency. The students will also volunteer at the Children’s Water Education Festival on March 26th and 27th. Look out for drought-related social media updates on their Facebook page and Instagram (@ESS60B) and follow these hashtags on Twitter to stay informed: #DroughtReach, #DroughtResponseFail, #DroughtHero, #ESS60B.
Pledge with Pete - Drought Booth
Photo Credit of Jennifer Wilkens
UC Irvine Facilities Drought Response
UC Irvine Facilities is a major part of the drought response team. In conjunction with the already game-changing sustainability and efficiency efforts by UCI Facilities Management, several projects will be introduced to reduce the campus water footprint even further. In the short-term, steps will be taken to turn off irrigation in areas that don't use recycled water and to bucket water the trees to reduce water losses associated with automatic irrigation. Long-term projects include increased use of recycled water, expanded use of water metering and replacing turf grass in designated "secondary" areas (i.e. decorative areas) with a less water-intensive alternative (e.g. desert landscaping). Another potential project, converting first-floor bathroom plumbing to recycled water, will warrant further assessment.
March 4, 2014 - Facilities Management has set up an email account that you can send text messages to in order to report water leaks, facility related issues and other #DroughtResponseFails. If you see something on campus that needs fixing, send a quick text to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Is Your State, This Is Your State on Drought
The aim of this visual media campaign is to show the devastating and wide-reaching effects of drought. Fashioned after the classic "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" Partnerships for a Drug Free America public service announcements from the 1980s, the "This is Your State on Drought" campaign will use powerful and contrasting images of California in its normative state and/or ravaged by drought to show the real-life, state-wide impacts of drought.
Folsom Lake Under Drought Conditions