Conservation Still Urgent in Calif., Officials Say

Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Executive Director Timothy Quinn joined Bay Area water officials recently to call attention to the need for water conservation as California deals with the worst drought conditions in 16 years, according to a press release.

Appearing at a news conference with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and others, Quinn said the proactive effort to promote water conservation in the Bay Area is a critical response to California's extreme water challenges. He also highlighted the central role that water use efficiency must play in addressing the state's long-term need for a more sustainable water supply system.

"The actions being taken by San Francisco and its partner cities and water agencies are absolutely essential as we enter a period of severe challenges to our water supply," Quinn said. "For the first time in a long time, we're seeing very real impacts on jobs and local economies as a result of water shortages. Every drop that Bay Area residents don't use this summer is water available this fall and beyond. Conserving water must be part of our daily lives not just this year, but in the long term."

Quinn noted that water agencies around the state are taking aggressive action to reduce water use this year. Some agencies have instituted mandatory rationing, and more are likely to follow suit in the coming months.

ACWA has partnered with the California Department of Water Resources and the California Water Awareness Campaign to coordinate assistance to local agencies and step up public education efforts, including the consumer-oriented "Nice Save" campaign designed to help residents reduce their water use. (More information is available at www.acwa.com and www.wateraware.org.)

"We are in a tough situation this year, but our problems go beyond this year's drought," Quinn said. "When it starts raining again, things do not go back to normal. We have to invest in the sustainability of our statewide water system so it can meet the needs of the environment and the economy."

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for about 90 percent of the water delivered in California.

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