RESEDA (CBSLA.com) — From drought-resistant landscaping to hiring scuba divers to repair pools, Southern Californians are going to great lengths to conserve water amid the state’s ongoing drought.
David Bernstein, who owns the California Nursery Specialties Cactus Ranch in Reseda, says he’s had to increase production to keep up with the demand for drought-resistant landscapes.
“You could have just a plain old lawn, or you could have a real interesting spot to take a look at every morning something different,” said Bernstein, who added that his cacti and succulents can survive and even thrive in drought conditions.
Amid those conditions, Eduardo Garcia of West Hills says he’s had to let almost all of the trees on his 1-acre property die due to a monthly water bill in excess of $200.
“And I left only for the house and all the trees [are] dying now because it’s expensive,” he said.
But he’s not alone.
West Hills resident Virgina Burke fears a nearby development of 145 homes may hurt the environment and take water from established residents.
“Those of us who have been very conservative with our water over the years are really concerned about where the water is gonna come,” she said.
In Orange, a scuba diver was sent to a senior living complex for a pool repair.
The repairs by Steve Royal and pool service owner Doug Beard don’t require an alteration of water levels, but rather the fix is made underwater.
The compromise is happening more often even if it means paying an extra fee to hire a diver.
“On this particular pool, we’re probably looking at 12-15,000 gallons of water. Some of them are going to be 20-30-40,000 gallons of water that’s just getting wasted to do a repair. Consumers are going to wind up paying that surcharge to refill it,” said Beard, a pool technician.
Whether it’s a tile repair, the need for drains to be worked on or filling cracks, many pool technicians cringe these days at the thought of throwing away water.
“It’s about water and the resource. The scarcity of water, right now especially, and every drop that we can save, we want people to save,” said Joe DeFrancesco, a public works director.