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Dealing with the long, dry summer and an unknown water future.

Dealing with the long, dry summer and an unknown water future The summer of '88 promises to be another long, dry one. In many places, this past winter--the second low-precipitation winter in a row (see map)--has water managers concerned about long-range supplies. What started in 1987 as a "dry year" in parts of the West has now officially become a drought. At our deadline, most Western water districts had adequate supplies for this summer, but a few were facing serious shortages. The specter of brown lawns, last seen in California during the 1976-77 drought, will rear its head this summer in parts of California's central Sierra Nevada foothills, some coastal communities, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Even in Southern California--which faces no water shortage this year--the Metropolitan Water District will step up voluntary water-conservation programs. But the biggest question mark is next winter. California's urban water-conservation chief Jonas Minton has asked water agencies to start drought planning. Incredibly, most agencies did not have drought contingency plans, and, according to Minton, "Another dry winter like the last two and most water districts throughout the state will have to impose rationing on their customers." Last year, the first year of the drought, Sunset published a series of articles that offered the latest ideas on how to make your home and garden more water efficient. This summer, we're expanding that series with Water Watch 1988, which will appear through October. Along with suggestions on how to use less water in and around your house, we'll offer news on water-efficient landscaping, drought-tolerant plants, water-monitoring devices, and sources of information on landscaping and plant selection. This month, we look at some basic steps all homeowners can take to immediately cut in-home and landscape water use.
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Title Annotation:includes related articles on water conservation
Date:Jun 1, 1988
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