California governor Jerry Brown has issued orders for imposing mandatory water restrictions across the state from April 1. This is for the first time in the history that the lowest snow level has been found by the surveyors in the Sierra Nevada snowpack in record 65 years.
Brown announced that he had signed an executive order which requires the State Water Resources Control Board to carry out implementation of measures in towns and cities to slash down the overall water usage of the state by 25 percent as compared to 2013 levels.
The mandatory restrictions on water are set to affect farmers, businesses, residents, and other users.
Addressing a press conference at Echo Summit in Sierra Nevada, Brown said, “We’re in a historic drought and that demands unprecedented action. We have to pull together and save water in every way we can.”
The state water officials had uncovered no snow in Sierra Nevada for the first occasion in their manual survey of the snowpack in April.
After officially announcing a drought emergency in January this year, Brown has urged the people in California to reduce their water usage by 20 percent from last year.
Despite the tough water regulations imposed on local water agencies by the state, the overall use of water has dropped by only half that amount, prompting the governor to take more stringent action.
“We’re in a new era; the idea of your nice little green grass getting water every day, that’s going to be a thing of the past,” the California governor said.
Following the executive order, the golf courses, cemeteries, campuses, and other large landscapes will have to significantly reduce their water usage. The local governments will have to replace 50 million square feet of lawns with the drought-tolerant landscaping. Moreover, a temporary rebate program will be created for consumers who opt for replacing water-consuming appliances with more efficient ones.
The executive order requires local water agencies to become extra vigilant in charging for excessive water use, including extra fees for the highest consumption of water.