For the last couple of years, the state of California has seen one of the worst droughts in its history. The drought has proven to be quite costly financially and environmentally.
Despite the continued lack of rain not improving things, there is some good news coming from this. Many of the cities in the state have managed to reduce their use of water by as much as 30% this past spring. Fresno, for example, has some of the strictest watering restrictions in the state due to the drought and has always been trying to cut down on water usage.
The way that the decrease of water usage in Fresno was done was through use of different postcards. The city sent out two types: a colorful, friendly one warning citizens of water usage and a darker non-colorful one doing the same. The latter of these had more effect and homeowners responded by drastically reducing how much water they consumed over time. Of course Wikipedia suggests the threat of penalties was also a factor in all of this, after California governor Jerry Brown ordered all cities to reduce water use by 25%.
A show of how serious the drought was came when the National Weather Service had announced that the city of Los Angeles had now gone through four consecutive dry rainy seasons, receiving barely 30 inches of rainfall.