California Passes Huge Water Deal

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On Nov. 4, California lawmakers passed an $11.1 billion water deal that will essentially overhaul the state’s water system while “preserving a fragile environment,” according to The Associated Press.

The ruling comes after months of debate among both the Democratic and Republican parties. The money will fund new dams and groundwater cleanup and is the first step in restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a collection of channels, natural habitats and islands that is a major source of the state’s drinking water.

Two-thirds of California's drinking water comes from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. California legislators want to require cities to use 20 percent less water by 2020. Photo: Amanda Wills, Earth911.com

Two-thirds of California's drinking water comes from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Photo: Flickr/brothergrimm

According to reports, it will be the largest environmental restoration project in the U.S., surpassing the effort underway in the Florida Everglades. The restoration will supply a sustainable water supply for Southern California residents.

California has struggled to maintain its water supply in the wake of a three-year drought that crippled the farming industry and rural communities.

“This is a major breakthrough that sets a new framework for providing both water supply reliability and protecting our fragile ecosystems. It puts California on course for a smarter water future,” said Laura Harnish, regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund, as reported by The Associated Press.

California legislators also want to require cities to use 20 percent less water by 2020. No matter where you live, water conservation starts at home. To put the issue into perspective, check out your own water footprint. Not only will you find out how much water you use on a day-to-day basis, but you will also learn how to conserve it by making simple changes in your diet or lifestyle.

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