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California: A State Of Survival Part 5 — Lessons Learned From The Land Down Under

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fifth in a five-part series exploring California's drought. To read this story in its entirety, visit here.

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — High above the suffering Sierra snowpack, Rich DeHaven captured an eye-opening perspective in California's drought. Where snow that makes up one-third of California's water should be just isn't there.

"We're seeing a little bit of snow here, but not what I'd hoped to see," he said.

We're all starting to see the days of taking water for granted are over.

Sacramento homeowner Khristine Terlinde has taken that critical message to heart, ripping out 1,200 square feet of lawn and converting it to a drought-tolerant garden.

"If we want to live here, we need water," she said.

Her toilet is dual flush and even her washer is waterwise. In one year, her water use plummeted about 75 percent and her bill dropped $100 a month.

"We're very conscious of it, we're very conscious of the water we use."

If that doesn't convince you to conserve, maybe an expert who helped lead her country through one of the toughest droughts the world has ever known.

Karelene Maywald, the chair of the Australia National Water Commission, spoke to CBS13 about the devastating millennium drought. California's four-year drought looks small compared to Australia's, which stretched from 1995 to 2012.

"We were running by the seat of our pants and we really had to manage as we went and adapt as we went," she said.

Click here to see the rest of the reports in this five-part series.

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