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Is there enough water for housing?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2022 | Commercial Real Estate, Community Associations |

When anyone brings up the housing crisis in California, one of the major concerns for people is water availability for new homes. It’s not a secret that the Golden State has had severe drought problems, and there’s only so much water available. But, that may not be quite the “gotcha question” that people believe.

Understanding water availability in California

In California, agricultural or environmental use accounts for around 90% of the available water. While this can vary depending on whether it is a “wet” or “dry” year, the water for “urban use” – which includes human consumption – is only a small fraction of the total available water.

Moreover, it’s not necessarily likely that California homes would need a greater share of that water. The population of the state already subsists on this small fraction; building new housing would simply more greatly disperse the water to new residencies.

Green technology and better water management

The concerns of drinkable water are absolutely valid, but with emerging green water management strategies that the state pioneers, they aren’t going to stop new housing. What may need to happen is a re-evaluation of the best and most effective water efficiency efforts.

For developers, this is good news. With California’s focus on creating housing for the state’s residents, barriers like water availability aren’t what critics like to illustrate. This gives you extra strength when developing your plans for your portfolio.

Thoughtful environmental conscious water conservation

The code in California prioritizes a minimal environmental impact. Water is important. However, these two features should not be used to halt all development to meet the needs of the state.