Aggressive conservation has slashed water consumption in Long Beach by 1.6 billion gallons in the past year, dropping usage to a 10-year low, officials said Tuesday.
Yet despite the success, further conservation efforts are needed to offset rising water rates and a steep decline in water supplies from a key Northern California source, experts say.
"We need people to understand that we no longer have enough water going forward to even meet normal demand," said Ryan Alsop, government and public affairs director for the Long Beach Water Department.
"There needs to be a paradigm shift in our relationship with water ... not only in Long Beach, but everywhere in the region."
It's taken a serious crisis for major players to realize we need "a paradigm shift" — aka a complete overhaul — of how we treat, use and view water.
It's not enough to just do the normal conservation of short showers and full loads in the dishwasher, and it's not enough to simply talk about pressing water needs. The need is here, right now, and it's only going to grow.
So what about it, elected leaders?