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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Angelenos Didn't Meet Water Conservation Mandates For October

Los Angeles residents fell behind in water conservation during the month of October.

Los Angeles residents missed the state mandated cut on water conservation by about one percent in October, according to figures released by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power today. 

The failure to meet the mandate was expected by the chair of the state Water Resources Control Board. "We anticipated a dip in the conservation rate for October, but it is not because people are losing interest -- they actually did quite well considering how unusually hot it was in October,'' said Felicia Marcus.

California has been experiencing a severe dry spell for the past four years. There is an entire state government website dedicated to the drought.

This comes at a time when Governor Jerry Brown is headed to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which aims to restrict rising global temperatures to two degrees, in Le Bourget, France today and is expected to speak on Friday. Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency in January 2015 and placed strict conservation mandates throughout the state.

The California governor’s attendance at the world conference shows how important climate change is to voters, especially given that the delegation also includes former Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Christian Grose, an expert on Political Science and Public Policy. “Especially given that this bipartisan support for fighting climate change is not seen in other U.S. states,” he said. 

California residents are cutting back on certain luxuries in order to save water. Brown imposed a 25 percent decrease of water usage, but overall use is down by 27.1 percent.

“At home, I collect shower water in buckets and I use that to replenish the water in the toilet and also to water the front yard which doesn’t have grass,” said James Sinclair, an administrator at USC.

Although there are people who go to extremes to save water, others are not so worried. 

“It doesn’t really affect us at all because I can still turn on the faucet and the prices don’t go up at The Lorenzo because they pay for utilities,” said Kai Oto, a USC student, on why he is not too concerned with water conservation.

Conserving water seems to be even less of a problem for non-California residents. 

“I guess I have a less just fear of us running out of water because I have an out, just in terms of if we do run out of water and things go very badly here, I can just fly back home,” said Keldrick Nwajei, a student at USC, who is originally from Houston. 

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