Home California Governor Newsom Expands Drought Emergency Statewide

Governor Newsom Expands Drought Emergency Statewide

by ECT

Proclamation authorizes State Water Board to ban wasteful water uses, boosting conservation efforts

SACRAMENTO – Following the second driest year on record and with near record low storage in California’s largest reservoirs, Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation extending the drought emergency statewide and further urging Californians to step up their water conservation efforts as the western U.S. faces a potential third dry year.

Bolstering conservation efforts, the proclamation enables the State Water Resources Control Board to ban wasteful water practices, including the use of potable water for washing sidewalks and driveways. The Governor issued an executive order in July calling on Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15 percent compared to 2020 to protect water reserves and complement local conservation mandates. The Governor’s action today comes as the Board reports that in August, California reduced urban water use by 5 percent compared to 2020.

“As the western U.S. faces a potential third year of drought, it’s critical that Californians across the state redouble our efforts to save water in every way possible,” said Governor Newsom. “With historic investments and urgent action, the state is moving to protect our communities, businesses and ecosystems from the immediate impacts of the drought emergency while building long-term water resilience to help the state meet the challenge of climate change impacts making droughts more common and more severe.”

A copy of today’s proclamation can be found here.

The proclamation adds the eight counties not previously included in the drought state of emergency: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco and Ventura. In addition, the proclamation requires local water suppliers to implement water shortage contingency plans that are responsive to local conditions and prepare for the possibility of a third dry year.

Expanding the Save Our Water initiative, a critical resource during the last drought, California has launched robust water conservation public education campaigns in partnership with stakeholders, including public water agencies. Statewide per capita residential water use declined 21 percent between 2013 and 2016 and as of 2020, the urban sector is using approximately 16 percent less on average statewide than in 2013. The Administration will continue to monitor the evolving drought conditions and evaluate all tools available to respond in real-time.

California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures. August 2021 was the driest and hottest August on record since reporting began and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record. Today’s proclamation authorizes the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to provide assistance and funding under the California Disaster Assistance Act to support the emergency response and delivery of drinking water and water for public health and safety.

The Governor’s California Comeback Plan invests $5.2 billion over three years to support immediate drought response and long-term water resilience, including $815 million for emergency drought relief projects to secure and expand water supplies, drought contingency planning and multi-benefit land repurposing projects; support for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, with a focus on small and disadvantaged communities; Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation to improve water supply security and quality; and projects to support wildlife and habitat restoration efforts, among other nature-based solutions.

More information on the state’s response to the drought and informational resources available to the public are available at https://drought.ca.gov/.

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Lola Saavedra Oct 20, 2021 - 2:03 am

Nuisance can say anything he wishes. We would not have to conserve water if we didn’t have 40 million people here. California obviously cannot handle that many. It had problems when there were only 9 million here in the 1940’s. Even with reservoirs galore, they have to be filled with rain water.

Bearman Oct 20, 2021 - 4:11 pm

He can “expand” it all he likes. I won’t budge! That “emergency” could have been avoided if fewer people were let into the state! With droughts, of course there will be water problems but why should those of us whose ancestors settled the area since before 1849 suffer for it now? I’m watering the front and back yards right now!

Leon Estrada Oct 20, 2021 - 8:00 pm

Well, what do you know. Newsom will ban “wasteful” water use! Too bad! I don’t give a rat’s ass what he bans. I’m using all the water I need and then some! Maybe he should encourage more people to leave California. A large portion of them can’t even afford to live here.

Alex Velasquez Oct 21, 2021 - 2:05 pm

I did a decade-by-decade study on how this state functioned from the 1920’s through 2020!

Way back, there were always droughts and problems with water, but there were fewer people, so things worked out. Reservoirs were built but rain was needed to fill them. Today, we have 40,000,000+ which this state simply cannot handle as far as WATER, high density living, traffic, crime, etc. No one should have to cut down on what they need the most. I’m not cutting down on anything. Don’ like it? Tough!

Oscar Rivera Oct 21, 2021 - 3:53 pm

Sorry, Gavin! I’m using even more water now. You could help by stopping the influx of people into our state and making things worse!

MARTIN NMN Oct 22, 2021 - 1:44 pm

Now, they are building more “affordable” housing which will be filled with those who simply cannot make it in this state with extremely high cost-of-living! So, this housing will be SUBSIDIZED with OUR TAX DOLLARS! This is TOTAL INSANITY! This must stop!

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