(Apple Valley) —Drivers traveling both north and south on I-15 near the Oak Hills exit will be reminded to save water thanks to a new message displayed on a San Bernardino County water tank. The Alliance for Water Awareness and Conservation (AWAC) and the Mojave Water Agency (MWA) are encouraging residents to “Save Water” and “Live Like a Desert Native.”
As California continues to experience its fourth consecutive year of a historic drought, conservation is no longer voluntary, but mandatory. Last spring, Governor Jerry Brown mandated strict water conservation goals requiring a 25 percent statewide reduction in residential water use.
Unlike the statewide campaign that ties its messaging to the drought, AWAC and MWA chose to encourage people to continue to conserve as a lifestyle.
“Our region’s water conservation professionals met, and we all came to the same conclusion that conservation isn’t something we should only do when we’re in a drought. It needs to become our way of life,” said Yvonne Hester, MWA spokeswoman. “We know we live in the desert and we have to use our water resources wisely, and that’s how this campaign was born—it’s based on taking a lesson from our native plants that have survived eons in this arid climate.”
The campaign will roll out during the next several months and will focus on three lessons learned from nature. The first lesson is “Put Down Deep Roots,” by training plants and trees to grow deep roots by watering plants long and slow. Secondly, residents are encouraged to “Make Shade,” by adding shade trees, and shade areas with porches, sail cloth, and arbors to save moisture for vegetation. Lastly, people are encouraged to “Cover Your Ground,” by adding mulch, chips, rock, or gravel to help the ground retain moisture.” The campaign will also use these same lessons with tips to use inside homes and businesses.
Monthly conservation reporting demonstrates that the High Desert region is embracing conservation. Most water providers are meeting state assigned water conservation goals.
Among the group of water providers that made great gains include San Bernardino County Service Area 64 (CSA 64) that serves Spring Valley Lake, and Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company. Assigned a target of 32 percent reduction, CSA 64 has reduced its usage to date by 32.25 percent. Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company reached a 32.38 percent reduction and is in the 28 percent conservation tier. Additionally, Golden State Water Company in Barstow reached 27.81 percent reduction to date with a state mandated tier of 24 percent.
.Additionally, San Bernardino Service Area 70 that serves Oak Hills reported a 28.99 percent reduction to date, and is in the 28 percent conservation tier. Closely following in a 28 percent tier was the City of Victorville that achieved 28.72 percent reduction to date.
In the Morongo Basin, Joshua Basin Water District reached a cumulative water use goal of 28.2 percent since June 2015, and is well on its way of meeting its 28 percent state imposed goal.
The new marketing/education campaign will be used to help the region meet its conservation goals. For more information on how to “Live Like a Desert Native,” visit the AWAC website at www.hdawac.org.