Three years into a historic drought in California, with 2013 being the driest year on record for the state, stories like the ones above are proliferating. They point to the fact that Californians are finally turning their concern about the drought into changed behavior.
“I think people are just taking it more seriously,” says John Moore, an insurance salesman from Sherman Oaks. “I see the sign on the highway, ‘Serious drought: [help] save water,’ and so I turn off the water when I’m shaving. I read about farmers fallowing their fields, and something in me just says, ‘Take a shorter shower.’ ”