Bakersfield offers ideas of how to fight drought

Bakersfield offers ideas of how to fight drought »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — After three straight years of below-normal rainfall, California now faces its most severe drought emergency in decades.

In the past, Kern County's vast agriculture districts have taken the lead when vocalizing the drought's impact. But, what about the counties residential water districts?

At Bakersfield City Hall on Thursday, all seven of of Bakersfield’s water purveyors met to discuss how the county's population center can cut back on water.

"I think that one thing that can come out of this meeting is a higher public awareness, and in fact, maybe a small amount of things people can do to help this water resource go a little further," said Art Chianello, the city water resources manager.

The goal of the meeting was to share ideas and best practices for how each resident in the city can make changes at home, for the good of the entire state.

Greenfield County Water District Manager Rex Mason offered some ideas.

"Watch their watering, watch their car washing, and watch their use when they're taking a shower or brushing their teeth. Everything helps," he said.

The city says 60-70 percent of home water use is used outdoors on lawns and backyard gardens.

"The average child these days knows that turning off water in between hand washing and teeth brushing is average way to conserve,” said Beeson with The Giving Tree Project. “But the adults really have the opportunity to take a better more proactive approach to water conservation by converting a lot of their flower beds to drip irrigation that can save up to 80 percent water."

City water is currently implementing a $100,000 water grant to get the word out among residents.

"Water supply is just very, very important, and to use it wisely just means there is more to go around for a longer period of time," said water manager Chianello.