SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Assemblyman Das Williams remembers the drought of the early 1990's and doesn't believe expensive solutions are needed now to get California through the current water crisis.
"Last time we faced a drought like this in the early 90's we collectively did panic and we embraced solutions that were very expensive and that we did not need," said Williams.
He recalls the water desalination plant that cost Santa Barbara and regional water districts $34-million. It was tested but never used on a regular basis.
Today it sits idle a few blocks from the beach.
To restart it would require new parts, and additional costs.
This time around, Williams does not want to see new water projects hooked up but instead, more water savings from residents locally and across the state.
" I think the answer is not necessarily more but to use better what we have. That is where we have been more successful in the past. So if you look at the past where we have gotten more water is by conserving," said Williams.
He also favors bond measures that would generate funds to help ease the water crisis, and help residents lower their water use with low flow shower heads, toilets with smaller water tanks and landscaping systems with special spray heads.
Restaurants like Joe's Cafe have already begun a conservation plan and serve water only on request. Special signs on each table tell the guests about the drought and offer water to everyone, if they want it. A cutback in this area, saves the water used to fill the glass and the water needed to wash the glass.