Eye of the Editors: The Drought

THE DROUGHT: It is important for Diamond Bar High School students to see the severity of the drought and the effect it has on the community.

“Brown is the new green,” a statement all too familiar to citizens in California, is a campaign launched earlier this year in San Francisco in the hope of encouraging more water conservation among residents. The idea of dead lawns and a dried-up water supply looms large in many Californians’ minds in this fourth year of the drought.

However, are students, as citizens of Diamond Bar and California, doing enough to conserve water? Have we reduced the length of our showers? Do we turn faucets off and on as needed while brushing our teeth or doing the dishes? Are we urging parents to cut back on watering the lawn?

Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a drought State of Emergency, putting into law restrictions that would allow California to begin setting consequences for those who waste water. Diamond Bar has also enacted rules to reduced water usage. However, many Diamond Bar students have not made conserving water a priority, a setback to efforts in saving what little of the commodity we still have.

The problem is that there are no adverse effects that residents of Diamond Bar are immediately experiencing. While some cities in Central California can only receive water by pumping it from the local fire station, Diamond Bar cannot see firsthand the devastating effects of the water shortage.

Most students are aware of the drought due to media coverage, but many do not actively work to conserve water. As long as liquid continually runs from the tap, students will not fully recognize the threat of the drought. This should not be the case, as pushing for citizens to become more aware of the situation allows for drought to be fought more effectively.

While Brahmas are encouraged to do more in responding to the drought, Diamond Bar High School will be taking an active role in conserving water. Around DBHS’ campus, signs are scheduled to be placed, mainly on brown grass, in an effort to increase student awareness of the drought and its effects. Irrigation has been cut down to between two and three times a week after hours, and the school has begun replacing water pressure washing with gas blowers to remove debris from tennis courts and concrete. (Though, as revealed by the puddles of water across campus, the concrete continues to be hosed down on nearly a daily basis.)

The Walnut Valley Unified School District has also implemented artificial lawns at two elementary schools, CJ Morris and Maple Hill Elementary, where it hopes to observe community reaction and how the landscape holds up. The district then hopes to implement similar projects at DBHS and other schools, especially where lawns are largely ornamental.

In an effort to make students aware of the drought, the school is allowing the grass around campus to brown out by continuing to lessen irrigation times. In spite of the situation, students can still contribute to the state-wide effort to conserve water by staying aware of drought conditions and actively saving every drop. Though many students at DBHS may be cognizant, we are not fully informed of the immense consequences that the drought can potentially lead to in a year or two. The school is trying to do its part and therefore, so should the students.