Water-saving order extended as California enters fifth year of drought
Governor Brown has issued yet another executive order calling for additional measures to “build on the state’s ongoing response to record dry conditions and assist recovery efforts from this year’s devastating wildfires.As California enters a fifth year of drought.”
California’s Drought Response
“Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency in January 2014 and directed state agencies to take all necessary actions to respond to drought conditions. In April, Governor Brown announced the first-ever 25 percent statewide mandatory water reductions and a series of actions to help save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state’s drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient. Californians have responded with unprecedented conservation efforts, exceeding the Governor’s water reduction order for a fourth consecutive month,” said a statement posted on the official website.
In October, Brown declared yet another state of emergency following the unprecedented tree die-off across the state and sought federal aid “to help mobilize additional resources for the safe removal of dead and dying trees, building on provisions in the April 2014 executive order to redouble the state’s drought response.” said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board,
Excerpts from Brown’s Latest Executive Order [B-36-15]
“On January 17, 2014, l proclaimed a State of Emergency throughout the State of California due to severe drought conditions, which persist after four years… California is experiencing a range of extreme weather events such that the state must simultaneously prepare for a fifth year of drought … the ongoing drought continues to affect water supplies, agriculture, businesses, and communities, and is further stressing California’s fish and wildlife… wildfires have damaged critical infrastructure, including power plants, and hundreds of thousands of acres are and continue to be vulnerable to debris and mudslides due to scarring from significant wildfires in recent years… the magnitude of the severe drought conditions and wildfires continues to present threats beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions…”
The order also authorizes emergency water conservation measures to continue through October 2016 if the state still faces a drought in January 2016.
“If drought conditions persist through January 2016, the Water Board shall extend until October 31, 2016, restrictions to achieve a statewide reduction in urban potable water usage. The Water Board shall consider modifying its existing restrictions to address uses of potable and non-potable water, as well as to incorporate insights gained from existing restrictions. The California Public Utilities Commission is requested to take similar action with respect to investor-owned utilities providing water services.”
“The problem of this drought is it’s beyond anything in our experience,” said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board.