California governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. ordered the states' first ever Statewide Mandatory Water Reductions.
California suffers a historic drought. It is now the fourth year that the state has to deal with drought. Now following the lowest snowpack ever recorded and with no end to the drought in sight, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced actions that are aimed to save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state's drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.
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"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," said Governor Brown. "Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."
Last year, the Governor proclaimed a drought state of emergency. California has taken steps to make sure that water is available for human health and safety, growing food, fighting fires and protecting fish and wildlife.
For the first time in California's history, the Governor has directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California to reduce water usage by 25%. This savings amounts to approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months, or nearly as much as is currently in Lake Oroville.
The directions To save more water include:
-Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments;
-Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water and energy efficient models;
-Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use; and
-Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.
The Governor's order calls also on local water agencies to adjust their rate structures to implement conservation pricing, recognized as an effective way to realize water reductions and discourage water waste.
The orders also impact famers, who are one of the largest water users in the state. Agricultural water users will be required to report more water use information to state regulators, increasing the state's ability to enforce against illegal diversions and waste and unreasonable use of water under today's order.
Additionally, the Governor's action strengthens standards for Agricultural Water Management Plans submitted by large agriculture water districts and requires small agriculture water districts to develop similar plans. These plans will help ensure that agricultural communities are prepared in case the drought extends into 2016.
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Via the California Governor site.