Jun 20, 2014 8:16 PM by Brian Johnson
Paradise residents understand the severity of the drought. That's the message from the town's irrigation district after they report a decrease in water consumption.
Paradise residents use water mostly from Paradise Lake. Water levels are about 20% below storage capacity, but the good news is, Paradise residents are using about 20% less than they did last year.
As with most surface-level water resources this year, Paradise Lake's levels are down.
But like the waters of the lake, people in Paradise are calm about their main water supply.
They've cut back on their water consumption: 17% this May from last, and 25% this April from last.
"That's a very nice number," said Paradise Irrigation District General Manager George Barber. "We did get some storms in April that helped. But in the past, when people aren't aware, they don't always turn off their irrigation off even though it rains, and those are the things they did this year.'
Kim Hastain times her kids' showers, and doesn't water her lawn.
"We just think it's a good idea and water is such a precious resource and we don't want to squander it," Hastain said.
Andrea Hitt has gotten creative, using her greenhouse as a collection device to funnel rainwater into 5, 32-gallon trash cans.
"If somebody sees a sprinkler that's broken, they're going to step up," Hitt said. "Or if somebody has an idea for xeriscaping, they step up and the word gets out."
And while Hitt has her own water diversion methods, Paradise Irrigation District isn't so privileged.
"We don't know where we stand as far as how soon we're going to be able to collect storage again for the following year," Barber said. "So every drop we save this year, is something we can use next year."
And that's what Butte County Officials were trying to teach down the street, handing out free water conservation kits as part of their drought outreach program.
Butte County's Emergency Services Officer John Gulserian said county-wide, people are doing their part.
"[There are] a lot of comments here that folks were learning things they didn't realize about saving water and especially some of the outdoor watering techniques to save water," said Gulserian.
Outdoor monitoring is exactly what PID wants Paradise residents to focus on.
And they're now able to do that with a new online water meter usage system called AquaHawk.
"That really lets them take ownership of their water use," Barber said.
For more information on how to get a water conservation kit in Chico or Oroville this weekend, click here.