Since it started up in 2011, The HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (HERO PACE) Program completed more than 50,000 residential projects. That may not seem like much, in a state whose 39 million inhabitants are still hoping to see the end of the worst drought in their recorded history, but HERO is one of California’s better stories.
Water is a finite resource. According to Stephanie Feldstein of the Center of Biological Diversity, “Every time you turn on the tap, that water is coming from rivers, lakes and streams that wildlife depend on.” With Levi Strauss & Co’s help, the Center created the “Don’t Be a Drip” to identify some of the most wasteful activities and counties in the United States. Despite a four year long drought, they discovered Californians waste a lot of water.
Renovate America announced that California will save more than a billion gallons of water through the completed water-efficiency projects financed through its’ HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. More than half of those projects have been completed in the five months since Governor Brown announced water reduction mandates. HERO has shown that PACE water conservation programs work.
The first seven months of this year were the warmest on record, and last month was the hottest known July. California’s drought has become a West Coast phenomenon, spreading as far north as Alaska. Wildfires are being reported in areas like Washington’s Olympic National Park, where there have been not been fires in living memory. “Rainy” British Columbia’s abnormally dry conditions are expected to continue through this fall and into winter. Trees are stressed and fish populations are failing. Is this Climate Change?
They have withstood droughts before. Many of these trees have stood in the Sierra Nevada for 3,000 years. This is different. Their leaves have not turned this brown, or sparse, at any previous time in the park’s history. Join Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero as he joins a team of scientists investigating how California’s Giant Sequoias Are Threatened.