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Published July 2nd, 2014
Making a Splash this Summer: The 10% Water Challenge
(Drought severity in Palmer Drought Severity Index. California is at record drought level. Source: Western Regional Climate Center)

For teens, the coming of summer means long days, hiking trips, vacations and (finally!) sleeping in, but nothing shouts out summer like being able to dive into a cool, refreshing pool to refresh both mind and body. But this summer, with our reservoirs drying up, and a statewide drought emergency in effect, teens might have to look elsewhere for fun in the sun.
Call it a dry season. From January to June, the Lafayette Reservoir has collected a meager 14 inches of rainwater, a mere half of the historical average in that time period. With rainfall reaching its lowest levels in almost a century, the East Bay Municipal Utility District has been forced to tap into Sacramento River water supplies for the first time, and is calling on our community to save 10 percent more water than last year.
Lamorinda teens are taking up the challenge to cut their water usage. Kelly Williams and her family invested in water-conserving equipment: "We put in low-flow faucets and shower heads. We also installed a valve system for the hoses so they wouldn't leak." Rising senior Nick Lum has switched to taking shorter showers - every gallon makes a difference.
Brian Davis, recent Campolindo graduate and a member of Campo's Lorax/Global Student Embassy environmental club, has made some big sacrifices in his household to conserve water: "We removed half the lawn, and let the other half go dormant. This cut down our water use from 200 gallons per day to 120." As a starting point for water conservation, Brian has some common-sense tips worth paying close attention to:
1. Turn off the faucet and don't let water run when you don't need it.
2. Take shorter showers.
3. Use sprinklers in the early morning or late evening to minimize evaporation.
4. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
Teens are making important contributions to our local conservation effort. As of June, creative solutions by community members have helped our county achieve a 3 percent reduction in water usage, according to EBMUD. With the collective effort of teens and our families, we can make it all the way to our goal of 10 percent, and do our community's part in helping survive the drought.

Andrew Wang, the Director of Concerts for Be the Star You Are! charity, is a rising senior at Campolindo High School. Besides writing and reporting, he enjoys programming, playing the piano and violin, and tossing a good Frisbee.
Teen Scene is YOUR voice. If you have something to say or have writing skills and want to be part of our Teen Scene team, email our Teen Coach, Cynthia Brian, Cynthia@CynthiaBrian.com.

The opinions expressed in Teen Scene are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Lamorinda Weekly.

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