Agriculture, the face of the Central Valley! Indeed, our region has made itself known as a place that frequently produces many of the crops we consume. With that, Hispanic agricultural workers make up a great portion of the workforce and are often among those who listen to us share the message of conservation and efficiency at our events and presentations. The shortage of water comes as no surprise to them as this has affected their population in particular. Agriculture thrives on the usage of water to grow crops, and when there is less available many of these hard working individuals find themselves fighting to keep their jobs. We are seeing wells dry out, employment dwindling, homes being left without water to shower, cook, or even keep plants alive. It goes without saying that hard times have hit our state.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “60% of the state remains in severe or extreme drought,” therefore the smartest thing to do is save water (Serna, 2016). This is where Energy Upgrade California comes in. Not only are we promoting the conservation of energy, but educating the masses on how to save water, while reducing costs. The months of May through August have placed great emphasis on saving water as much as energy. As ambassadors of the cause, we take it upon ourselves to help agricultural workers understand that small changes and smart choices go a long way when it comes to conservation. Not only do they benefit, but if we all do our part, the state benefits as well. Hearing all of this has really brought back some hope to our humble community.
As we have spoken with this population, they have shared with us the ways they have already started to save energy and water. We are often told: “I turn off the lights and other appliances when I leave a room,” “I water the plants only on designated days,” or “I turn off the water when brushing my teeth.” It is not uncommon for this demographic to be as proactive about saving, and it has often allowed us to encourage them to continue making more positive changes in their daily lives. Among these tips, we like to promote shorter showers, installing low-flow shower heads, washing clothes in full loads with cold water, repairing leaky faucets and toilets, installing LED light bulbs, and upgrading to Energy Star appliances whenever possible.
By means of informational booths, presentations, promotional items, and use of the energyupgradecalifornia.org website, we hope that our efforts to educate can make a difference. Partnering with our savvy agricultural community, we are determined to conserve the natural resources of California and keep our state Golden.