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California Builders Are Unfazed by Statewide Drought

New-Construction Projects

California Builders Are Unfazed by Statewide Drought

California is struggling to navigate a severe drought, but that doesn't seem to be slowing the pace of new home construction

June 2, 2022
Housing neighborhood in dry landscape from California drought

California officials have enacted strict regulations on water usage as the state battles another devastating drought, but that doesn’t mean a slowdown in construction is underway, according to the Los Angeles Times. Roughly 80% of water statewide is used for agriculture and the remaining 20% is used for houses and businesses, but rather than using that remaining water efficiently, much is wasted to water lawns, fill pools, and wash sidewalks.

While it may seem contradictory to ramp up residential building in the midst of a drought, experts say remaining water supplies can sustain new construction plans, and combining water savings with combat growth patterns actually benefits more Californians in the long run.

“It’s the first question I’d always get,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, who until last year ran the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the agency that delivers the water ultimately used by half the state’s population. “How in the world are you approving new housing when we’re running out of water?”

The answer, according to Kightlinger and other experts, is that there’s plenty of water available for new Californians if the 60-year trend of residents using less continues and accelerates into the future.

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