In the News

Letter to the Editor

The meaning of 'conservation'

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 8/26/13

My friend Mike Rotkin says, "there is room for more conservation, but programs will have diminishing results."

Mike, and city officials, may see "conservation" as just the easy-fix, local programs like replacing toilets and washing machines. More efficient appliances, while important, will indeed "have diminishing results" because we'll eventually run out of places to install them.

However, other approaches -- regional water sharing, collecting storm-water runoff, using recycled water for irrigation -- are also conservation, and these will not "have diminishing results." Decentralized approaches like installing cisterns on home and business sites have also been largely overlooked by city officials. The results of all strategies that will store or reuse our water before it runs into the ocean will be permanent and ongoing -- i.e., they constitute water conservation.

Moreover, unlike desal, all these conservation strategies will employ local labor, contributing to our community's economy while building water resiliency.

Jude Todd, Santa Cruz

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