Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. yesterday issued an executive order that builds on temporary statewide emergency water restrictions to establish longer-term water conservation measures, including permanent monthly water use reporting, new permanent water use standards in California communities and bans on clearly wasteful practices such as hosing off sidewalks, driveways and other hardscapes.
The executive order directs permanent changes to use water more wisely and efficiently, and prepare for more frequent, persistent periods of limited supply.
Between June 2015 and March 2016, Californians reduced water use by 23.9 percent compared with the same months in 2013 – saving enough water to provide 6.5 million Californians with water for one year, according to the State Water Resources Board.
While the severity of the drought has lessened in some parts of California after winter rains and snow, the current drought is not over, the Governor’s news release states. For the fifth consecutive year, dry conditions persist in many areas of the state, with limited drinking water supplies in some communities, diminished water for agricultural production and environmental habitat, and severely depleted groundwater basins.
The executive order calls for long-term improvements to local drought preparation across the state, and directs the State Water Resources Control Board to develop proposed emergency water restrictions for 2017 if the drought persists. The water board is scheduled to consider on May 18 revisions to the emergency water rules it approved in February.
These new actions will help achieve a top priority in the Governor’s Water Action Plan – to “Make Conservation a California Way of Life.”
The administration will seek public input in the coming months on new water conservation and efficiency standards called for in this executive order.
The full text of the executive order can be found here.
Staff Contact: Valerie Nera