How crazy will water rationing get in Sacramento?

Don’t be fooled by this then-and-now Folsom Lake image
making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook. It’s from the ‘70s.

The new trend in town is visiting Folsom Lake, checking out the old ghost town now that the water levels have receded low enough to visit. (Check out some photos, here and here.)

But I’ve spoken with a few water experts in the past few days, and all of them are gravely concerned about Sacramento’s supply in the long game.

What does that mean for rationing in the city of Sacramento?

Yes, city council just approved on Tuesday a plan for “Stage 2” conservation efforts, which means things like more “educational outreach” and water police (they’ll now have 17 total), and that you can only wash your car with a bucket, not a hose.

But that’s not going to make a dent—it might not even generate the goal of reducing consumption by 20 to 30 percent.

Invariably, city council will convene again sometime in 2014 to green light even harsher conservation efforts, which could include:

  • A ban on washing cars.
  • A prohibition of automatic sprinklers.
  • A prohibition of watering at parks and cemeteries, and on traffic medians.
  • And possibly another rate bump—since, you know, supply and demand.


Look for more drought coverage in an upcoming SN&R.

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