FILE PHOTO. Kayakers find themselves alone in the wild expanse of Castaic Lake on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

SCV water users doing their part on World Water Day

It was World Water Day Friday, and for local officials it was a day awash in good news about an abundance of water here and across the state, but also about actively pursued conservation campaigns.

Other parts of the world, however, are not as lucky and continue to live without access to freshwater, according to officials at the United Nations who officially launched World Water Day back in 1993.

U.N. officials wanted a day when everyone in the world would recognize the importance of freshwater and wanted at least one day in the year when people could advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

“For those of us on this side of the tap, every day is World Water Day,” Kathie Martin, spokeswoman for the SCV Water agency, said Friday.

Created by SB 634 on Jan. 1, 2018, SCV Water provides water service to about 72,000

business and residential customers.

“Our customers know that safe, reliable water is only as far as their nearest faucet, but today is a good reminder that not everyone in the world, or even California, is so fortunate. “

And as for the U.N.’s mantra, advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources, officials with the SCV Water Agency and the Department of Water Resources have been focusing their efforts to that end since before the recent multi-year drought ended.

Drought over

For three years, SCV water users were urged to conserve water, asked to observe a lawn-watering schedule and mandated by then-Gov. Jerry Brown to conserve at least 20 percent of the water they used before the drought was declared.

The drought was officially deemed over just last week when the U.S. Drought Monitor, based in Nebraska, announced they found no evidence of drought anywhere in the state.

Just in time for World Water Day, officials with the city of Santa Clarita found themselves already promoting freshwater sustainability, having already promoted Fix A Leak Weak, March 16 to 24.

The annual conservation event was created by the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program.

“The city is a WaterSense partner so we help promote Fix A Leak Week,” Laura Jardine, project technician for the city of Santa Clarita’s Environmental Services, said Friday.

Fix A Leak Week

For more than 10 years the Fix A Leak Week program has worked to save every drop of freshwater in Santa Clarita by teaching people online “‘how to replace a broken sprinkler.”

How many water-conscious people actually watched the online video to learn about replacing sprinklers?

Jardine checked the analytics Friday and found a significant number of SCV people did.

At least 119 people visited the video on Monday when it was first posted, she said. Another 343 visited the site on Wednesday.

“And, so far today, we’ve had 64 people watch it,” Jardine said.

“People are starting to become aware of sustainability and about what they can do, personally,” she said Friday.

One of the water-wasting facts touted by promoters of Fix A Leak Week is that 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more a day.

“Since it is a good message on how to reduce leaks and save water and money, the City finds it an important message to share,” Jardine said.

“We have posted a few messages in regards to Fix A Leak Week on our GreenSantaClarita Facebook page, with our final one to post on Sunday.”

Jardine’s observation on World Water Day was: “Our GreenSantaClarita page is growing consistently.”

Conservation tips

Some Fix A Leak tips include:

  • Repair broken sprinkler heads and nozzles that spray driveways and sidewalks. This will save water and prevent polluted runoff from entering storm drains and the Santa Clara River.
  • Check water levels in your pool or spa. A loss of more than 2 inches per week in the water level may mean there is a leak.
  • Take some time to make sure your faucets, shower heads, bathtubs and toilets are leak-free.

Groundwater Sustainability

Just in time for World Water Day, the Fix A Leak Week followed National Groundwater Awareness Week which ran from March 10 to 16.

The NGAW, in promoting the importance of smart groundwater management, reminded people throughout the weeklong campaign that when it comes to freshwater, Americans use 349 billions of freshwater each day.

Another statistic it reported was that 44 percent of the US population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply.

The Santa Clara River replenishes local groundwater, which then supplies approximately half of the valley’s drinking water, according to a post on GreenSantaClarita.

The other half of water consumed by SCV residents arrives here from melted snow in the Sierra Nevadas via the SCV Water agency.

This week officials with the Department of Water Resources reported that all of the state’s reservoirs are nearing full capacity.

They reported Castaic Lake and Lake Piru at 81 and 73 percent full, respectively.

No one left behind

The theme this year for World Water Day was “Leaving no one behind’ with the U.N.’s ultimate goal being: “Water for all by 2030.”

U.N. officials noted in their online promotion of World Water Day 2019: “Billions of people are still living without safe water — their households, schools workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.”

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