Officials in charge of making sure we have clean drinking water have worked hard to ensure that supply meets the demand in drought years. We commend them for this invaluable work.

Just last week, an official from Livermore Municipal Water shared a Zone 7 report, which stated that the wholesaler projects it will have sufficient supply to meet the demand for its customers in the Tri-Valley over the next five years. Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin all receive water from Zone 7.

But as some were quick to point out, how can we stress the importance of conservation if the drought seemingly won’t have an impact on us? What about climate change?

It’s important to understand that this forecast doesn’t mean climate change is not a threat. It doesn’t mean that we no longer need to conserve water. Again, it’s only a forecast. Much like your financial budget, with certain variables factored in, a prediction of water reliability is an estimate, a projection. If you start spending frivolously, you will no longer have what you thought you would have in the future. The same is true with water. It’s a moving target.

And when it comes to climate change, Zone 7 in part relies on the state for ongoing information, which is then factored into water reliability projections. But even the meteorologists and atmospheric scientists – who have developed sophisticated technologies for capturing that data – are struggling.

According to a report by The Washington Post, NASA scientists say the heat the planet traps has roughly doubled since 2005.

“The magnitude of the increase is unprecedented,” said Norman Loeb, a NASA scientist. “The Earth is warming faster than expected.”

Loeb is also a lead author of a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, found here

Conditions are changing rapidly. Summer arrives sooner and leaves later. The heat is intense. Other factors, like forest fires, completely change the atmosphere because large patches of scorched land have replaced greenery and trees.

So while we have only been placed in the 10% voluntary conservation phase — and it’s not expected that in the near future anyone in the Tri-Valley will turn a tap and no water will come out — experts warn that if we have another dry year in which the reservoirs aren’t getting replenished, the water situation will become much more serious.

The hope is that people take conservation seriously before we fall into the more severe phases of drought mitigation.

Considering that realistic drought predictions are unknowable, conservation still falls on everyone in the Tri-Valley to do their part.

Zone 7 offers suggestions on how to save water. Adding mulch to your garden will promote soil health and conserve moisture. Get rid of your lawn. Don’t water if it’s going to rain. For more tips on how to converse water, visit