By Georgia Davis Conover
Water managers in San Diego, California are having to cut their budget, not because of the recession but rather because customers have reduced their water usage. Compared to a year ago, consumers in San Diego County are using 20 percent less water. By the end of the summer, some water districts had already reached their conservation goals for the year. While that could be considered positive news in a drought stricken state, it is bad for the budget. As a result of the drop in water usage, utilities have less than anticipated revenues. To save money, water managers are leaving unfilled jobs vacant and are curtailing some planned projects, including conservation outreach programs. Some utilities are also relaxing conservation rules in hopes of encouraging people to once again use more water.
Geographers are increasingly interested in the nexus between social practice, regulation and the environment. In “Reasons to Be Cheerful: Thinking Sustainably in a (Climate) Changing World” Hobsen writes about her recent experience at a sustainable living workshop in Adelaide, Australia. Her work makes an argument for both environmentally and socially sustainable practices.