Busting Water Conservation Myths

Sacramento Bee Op-Ed Addresses Misconceptions that Hinder Sustainable Water Management in California

Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick; Kate Poole, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Water Program; and Robert Wilkinson, adjunct professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, co-authored an op-ed in The Sacramento Bee responding to three myths being promoted about water conservation and efficiency in California and how they hurt our water planning:

July 13, 2014 – Special to The Sacramento Bee: Another View: Busting Water Conservation Myths

As a solution for California’s complex water challenges, conserving water to get more from every drop stands out for its great potential and the misconceptions around it.

A recent op-ed column, “Putting two myths about the state’s drought to rest” (Viewpoints, July 6), repeated three misstatements about conservation that are often used to delay implementing strategies for more efficient water use. Until these misunderstandings are corrected, common-sense improvements will continue to be underfunded and inadequately pursued. The failure to use proven and cost-effective efficiency programs can be seen in the limited attention to conservation in the state water bond proposals and only modest efforts of some water agencies.

Even the term “conservation” is misunderstood. There are two different forms: “conservation” in the sense of cutting back on water use; and “efficiency” in the sense of doing what we want with less water… (Read the full op ed here.)