Sacramento, California’s capital city, is No. 1!

California-based Waterblogged.info is proud to report that the results are in, and the state’s capital, Sacramento, has been deemed the No. 1 water-wasting community in the U.S., and maybe in the world!

According to this recent story by Matt Weiser of the Sacramento Bee, SacTown (supposedly one of the city’s nicknames, per Wikipedia) easily beat out such formidable competitors as Las Vegas and Los Angeles in per capita water use. Other highly-populated regions throughout the state and country have gone all out in the grueling, high-stakes contest, but in the end, as Weiser notes, it wasn’t even close:

No concentration of residents and businesses, however, uses as much as Sacramento: 25 percent more per capita on a daily basis than Las Vegas, and nearly 50 percent more than Los Angeles.

Stunned also-ran opponents were quick to point out that Sacramento’s large base of industrial and agricultural users gave it an unfair advantage, but Weiser notes that the victory was a community effort:

Even excluding large industrial and agricultural users, the Bee’s review of an array of water statistics found per-capita consumption here is greater than the U.S. daily average. It’s also higher than urban use in Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and a host of other developed nations.

What’s Sacto’s (another nickname) secret? Well, apparently the city has developed some innovative tactics, such as banning brooms for outdoor use. Asked why she was hosing down her sidewalk, a resident said:

. . .it’s either that or the (leaf) blower.”

But, as in all high-level competition, what it really comes down to is dogged determination. While other cities, such as Las Vegas and even LA, have started to bow to environmentalists’ pressures to conserve, Sacramento and its surrounding municipalities have stolidly resisted. Observers are still shaking their heads in awe over the region’s daring eight-year fake-out play: In 2000, Sacramento and 14 other regional urban areas promised to meet 16 conservation goals. To date, they’ve collectively failed to meet half the goals, and regional leader Sacramento, the Big Tomato, completed none.

The region isn’t planning on resting on its laurels. Though conservationists are pushing for reducing the amount of water taken from the American and Sacramento rivers, Weiser reports that:

. . .several Sacramento-area water districts are laying plans to divert more river flows to keep up with demand.

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