Despite another hot and dry year with less than four inches of rain in the Los Angeles area, we are back to our water-wasting ways. Two years ago, Californians were using 24% less water compared with 2013. This year, we're hardly conserving at all — just 1%.
Clearly, our earlier successes were more behavioral than structural. If lawn removal and new efficient fixtures and appliances had saved all that water, we wouldn't be seeing this momentous backslide. Meanwhile, our sources of imported water — from the Delta, the Colorado River, and the Los Angeles aqueduct — have all been revealed as vulnerable to politics, drought, climate change and crumbling concrete in recent years.