If you are interested in seeing some of the water-saving efforts of residents in our area, they are grouped here:
Water saving local gardens
For anyone interested in reading the NYT article, it's here:
NYT article on drought
I thought the article missed an important point, that we are dealing with in our area: for-profit water companies. The real reason our water company initiated tiered water was for profit, not conservation.
The adjacent municipal water company charges less than one third what our for-profit water company charges for water from the same source that costs the same. The costs are not triple. Our water company was able to push surcharges through the rubber-stamp California "Public" Utilities Commission to ensure that the company gets their profit whether or not anyone in our area conserves a drop.
Fines would be a more effective way of controlling water use. An executive from our for-profit water company, was quoted as saying tiers "sort of" help with conservation. What they are really for in our case is profit.
Here's the thing: the Wall Street banksters eye water as a great way to suck yet more money out of the middle class and poor--privatizing municipal water, with the help of the GOP who have pushed the message that The Private Sector Is Always Better.
I've read Detroit is looking at privatizing their water, and I can say, "G-d help them if they do." Because for-profit water sucks money out of the poor, too, and is more devastating for them than it is for higher income people. Many of the neighborhoods served by our for-profit water company are low income--Placentia and Gardena, for example.