July 7, 2022

Newsom emphasizes more intensive water conservation in the midst of drought

Governor Gavin Newsom met with the heads of the state’s largest urban water suppliers on Monday and asked them to step up efforts to reduce water use by the population as California’s drought continues to worsen. He warned that if security efforts were not improved this summer, there would be a need to impose mandatory water restrictions across the state.

Ten months ago, Newsam called the California people Voluntary water use 15%But the government is far from that goal.

The latest security figures are particularly bad. Water use in cities and towns Increased by almost 19% March, especially the hot and dry month. Compared to the 2020 basis, the total water storage nationwide since July is just 3.7%.

“Every water company across the state should take the most serious steps to report a drought emergency and implement safety measures,” Newsom said in a statement. “Californians have made significant changes since the last drought, but as we enter the summer months, we see an increase in water use. We all need to be more thoughtful about how to calculate every drop.

Alicia de Mello pours water on her front in South Pasadena.

(French Or / Los Angeles Times)

For a part of the 2012-16 drought, the then government. Jerry Brown has ordered a 25% forced reduction in urban water use. Many Californians responded to it.

He said local water agencies prefer an approach that allows for greater flexibility with state authorities and is tailored to their local circumstances. Newsum prefers a locally driven approach. But the Governor’s Office a Report Newsom “today expressed concern over the latest security situation across the state.”

Newsom warned that if this localized approach to state security does not result in a significant reduction in water use across the state this summer, the state may be forced to impose mandatory restrictions. “The governor will reconvene the same agencies over the next two months to provide renewal.”

The Monday meeting was not open to the public and was not broadcast live. Officials attending the meeting at the California Natural Resources Agency in Sacramento included heads of the Southern California Metropolitan Water District, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the San Diego County Water Authority, the Eastern Bay Municipal Utility District and other major water suppliers. . Together their agencies provide water to two-thirds of California’s population.

News Issued an executive order In March, local water agencies called for more serious safety measures. Following that OrderThe State Water Resources Control Board is scheduled to vote Tuesday Emergency Terms Local water providers need to implement “Level 2” of their local contingency plans, which are preparing for a deficit of up to 20%. The use of drinking water to irrigate “inactive” grass in commercial and industrial areas has been banned across the state. And corporate assets – including homeowners’ associations and businesses.

According to the governor’s office, half of California’s population is now under water restrictions enforced by local water agencies. If the State Water Board approves emergency laws, every city across the state will be covered by a local plan to reduce water use.

The severe drought, now in its third year in California, is one of the most severe on record and worsened by warmer temperatures with global warming. The first three months of the year were the driest on record. The state’s largest reservoirs are now about half their average level.

Across western America, scientists have found that the country has been experiencing a severe drought since 2000. Dry 22 year period Research shows that in at least 1,200 years, climate change will intensify.

Some scientists describe this trend Dryness Westerners say they need to be prepared for heat-driven drying as temperatures rise, along with rising levels of combustion of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases.

There is Newsom Proposed An additional $ 2 billion this year for drought relief efforts.

The state government has stepped up its so-called drought campaign Save our waterAnd emphasizes that Californians should protect themselves by taking measures such as restricting outdoor irrigation, short showers, and washing a whole lot of clothes.

Adele Hagegal, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District, attended Monday’s meeting and said the district supports NewSome’s call to reduce water consumption to extend California’s shrinking supplies ahead of the summer months.

“We appreciate the Governor’s collaborative approach in addressing statewide drought conditions by allowing water agencies to determine water conservation measures appropriate to the specific circumstances of their communities,” Hagegal said in a statement. “Different parts of our state have different water supply sources and are differently affected by the drought in the state.”

Metropolitan Water District in April Water shortage declared a state of emergency And ordered restrictions on outdoor irrigation in some areas of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino districts, which rely heavily on the state water project, which carries water south from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta. There are water restrictions Is to come into force June 1 and aims to reduce water use by about 35%.

While NewSome’s meeting with managers of water agencies focuses on improving safety in urban areas, the drought is also affecting agriculture and food production. Many farmers have seen their water supply Cut sharplyThey also pump large amounts of groundwater or leave some farmland dry without planting.

Of water diverted and pumped in California, State data On average 80% is used by agriculture and the other approximately 20% is used by cities and towns.

Recently Report For the California Department of Food and Agriculture, researchers estimate that water supply was reduced as 395,000 acres of farmland dried up and left uncultivated last year – a larger area than Los Angeles.

Researchers estimate that last year’s drought reduced 8,745 jobs in the state’s agricultural industry and caused $ 1.2 billion in water cuts. Those costs are expected to increase this year as more farmland in the Central Valley dries up.