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Calif. starts water conservation awareness

April 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
California water officials are planning to spend $4 million in the coming year to get out the message: conserve water. In February, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought, after three consecutive years of below-average rainfall. To encourage conservation, the California Department of Water Resources will launch an awareness project that includes public service announcements instructing people in ways to save water.Lester Snow, Director of the Department of Water Resources, says Californians respond to calls for conservation, but need reminding: "What we find on a lot of these kind of practices is people don't continue them," he said. "They respond in a drought and then they go back. They leave the faucet running when they're brushing their teeth. So, a lot of these things are making people aware and going back to the tried and true. And our target, what the Governor asked for in his emergency proclamation, was for every Californian to reduce their water use by 20 percent."

For now, said Snow, the state has no plans to mandate water rationing, though some local water agencies have issued mandatory water use reductions for their customers.

Half the money for the $4 million dollar public awareness campaign will be paid for by the Department of Water Resources; the other half will be provided by private water agencies.


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