California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., who is trying to marshal his forces to control the state’s historic drought, on Wednesday issued an executive order to prevent wasteful water usage. The order includes the first-ever statewide mandatory water-use reductions.
Gov. Brown also wants to streamline the state’s drought response and to invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resistant.
Gov. Brown spoke from an outdoor location in the Sierra Nevadas, saying “Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action,” Gov. Brown said. “Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across the state.”
The governor’s office noted that the snowpack was the lowest ever recorded, and there was no end to the drought in sight.
Last January, Gov. Brown declared a drought state of emergency because the state was facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history.
Officials of NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said it will take 11 trillion gallons of water to recover from the state’s continuing drought. The information is based on NASA satellite data.
Earlier this year, at the peak of California’s current three-year drought, a team of scientists found that water storage in the state’s Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins was 11 trillion gallons below normal seasonal levels.
Gov. Brown outlined plans to save water. He ordered the State Water
Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions in the state’s cities and towns to reduce water usage by 25%.
He also ordered local water agencies to adjust their rate structures to implement conservation pricing. Gov. Brown also wants to make a priority state review and decision-making of water infrastructure.
And he wants to incentivize promising new technology that will make California more water efficient.