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Water we waiting for: The Drought and What Pinewood is Doing

BAILEY HEIT

STAFF WRITER

   In the past month, it has rained maybe three times. So the California water supply is magically restored, right? Wrong. In fact, California water supplies in the past four years have been the lowest ever recorded in history.

   According to ca.gov, since 2011, California has fallen victim to the most extreme water shortages in state history. In result, there are drinking shortages in certain areas, fewer crops cultivated, and fish habitats dwindling. Most Californian residents do not realize the severity of the drought and they continue to have running taps and constant water. Because of this, the amount of water conserved is less than half of what it was
last year.

   Governor Jerry Brown has both issued a State of Emergency and declared that California must reduce water consumption by 25 percent. Also, recycled water is being used for agricultural and landscape irrigation and industrial processes to conserve the fresh water for everyday use.

   Alongside the large scale efforts, small businesses, homes, and schools are making an effort to conserve and recuperate the water supply. Pinewood is just one school, but we have been making a difference, according to principal Mark Gardner.

   Several years ago, Pinewood installed a synthetic turf field, which cut down on the water usage tremendously. Non-flush urinals were also installed in the boys bathrooms. Gardeners have planted low-maintenance plants that require less water. Lastly, Pinewood installed drinking fountains where students can fill
up bottles.

   “When a student just uses the drinking fountain a lot of the water goes down the drain.  With the bottle filler, all the water is captured in the bottle,” Gardner said.

   Luckily, the city has not yet put restrictions on the school itself, and no major changes have been put in place. However, schools across the state are not so fortunate. According to NPR, Mendota and Los Banos, two less fortunate towns, have been severely hit by the drought. Agricultural towns like these depend on good harvest seasons.

   If parents are not making enough money, they pull their students from schools in areas like Mendota and move, which hurts those schools’ budget and reputation.

   Other schools are looking to make an impact. According to CNN, Pepperdine University in Malibu uses recycled water for irrigation, turns off its fountains on campus, and encourages its students to reduce their water usage.

   What this drought will ultimately be is a learning experience. As the common phrase goes, “history repeats itself.” However, next time everyone will be more prepared and the government will know how to handle the situation.

   Biology teacher Monica Ventrice has already been talking about it to her classes and is sure that teachers in future generations will be teaching their students about it
as well.

   To find out more about how you can save water around your home, visit http://saveourwater.com.

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