A recent report on NPR highlights one of California’s most troubling barriers to reducing water consumption—the lack of water meters in most of the Central Valley.
Metered cities use about 15 percent less water than unmetered locales. And it’s no surprise: Without meters, how can anyone realistically measure consumption, much less make an effort to conserve? Puzzlingly, a lack of infrastructure isn’t the biggest barrier here: it’s the mounting rebellion from residents. A group of fervently opposed citizens are actively resisting installation of meters (and in one case, even successfully fought to have already-installed meters ripped out), citing high costs to taxpayers.
For a state that’s always been progressive, California is lagging far behind in the effort to conserve water. The good news is, according to KQED, three new laws will be enacted to ensure nearly everyone is metered:
- All homes built after 1992 are required to have meters.
- Cities that receive federal water supplies must install meters by 2013.
- All California cities must be metered by 2025.
While meters aren’t legally required until 2025, water-conscious residents can—and are encouraged to—buy and install meters in their own homes prior to these laws taking effect.
If you have a water meter, what do you think about those who aren’t paying for what they use?