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California's drought may start affecting new construction

As some of our readers are well aware, the drought our state is currently experiencing is considered one of the worst on record. In its fourth year, California's drought has forced water supplies to dangerously low levels, forcing cities across the state to make difficult decisions about water use.

But the water management actions that are being taken across the state do not appear to be enough, which is why state officials are considering taking another step in conservation. Unfortunately, this targets new home construction, which is a maneuver that is angering many construction companies who say they are not the problem.

In an effort to save more water, the state is considering restrictions or complete moratoriums on new construction projects across the state. The rationale behind this is to stop the placement of new water taps in water sources that are already struggling to meet demand. But as construction companies and builders are trying to show the state, restrictions and moratoriums might not be an answer at all.

That's because, as many builders have been quick to point out, newly constructed homes are oftentimes more efficient than older homes. From high efficiency appliances to water-saving irrigation systems, new construction offers a better solution to the state's water crisis than prohibiting it, those in the construction industry say.

While this construction dispute might not wind up in a courtroom anytime soon, it is one that needs to be addressed using level heads and an eye for what is in the best interest of all parties involved. The state will also need to consider the serious financial effect a moratorium would have on construction companies and builders in our state, which in itself could become another source of contention that could lead to further disputes.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "As California Drought Drags On, Home Builders Vie for a Voice," Kris Hudson, April 24, 2015

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