Luckily, Irvine and Orange County residents are leaders in using water efficiently. We reduced usage by more than 20% during the drought.
We use the same amount as we did in 1983, believe it or not, despite a few more people moving here and planting lawns since then.
About half the water used in the region is for outdoor irrigation. To save some of it, OC property owners removed enough turf to cover Disneyland five times over.
Still, we often turn on the tap without really thinking about where the H2O that flows out of it comes from.
Luckily, we have Irvine Ranch Water District, one of the most innovative water districts around, taking care of our hydration needs.
We benefit from one of the most extensive water recycling systems in the country, something IRWD has been perfecting for 50 years.
We enjoy 300-plus acres of nature at the San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, thanks to IRWD. It’s a bird-lovers paradise that also serves to naturally clean urban runoff from San Diego Creek before it flows into the Back Bay and the ocean.
A few other innovative things the folks at IRWD have done is buy land far from Irvine to help ensure we have water. IRWD owns some $50 million worth of farmland near Blythe that carries Colorado River water rights with it, as well as an 800-acre ranch in Kings County. The district saves excess water from the ranch and other areas during wet years and “banks” it for us to use during droughts and other emergencies. Smart, right?
So thank-you to all those who keep the clean water flowing here in Irvine. After all, we can’t live without it.