Water suppliers across California were urged Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom to ramp up their water conservation efforts by moving to Level 2 of their Water Shortage Contingency Plans.
“While we have made historic investments to protect our communities, economy and ecosystems from the worsening drought across the West, it is clear we need to do more,” Newsom said in a statement. “Today, I am calling on local water agencies to implement more aggressive water conservation measures, including having the (state) Water Board evaluate a ban on watering ornamental grass on commercial properties, which will drive water use savings at this critical time. Amid climate-driven extremes in weather, we must all continue to do our part and make water conservation a way of life.”
Newsom’s executive order on Monday is in response to the state experiencing the driest first three months of any year in its recorded history.
Water suppliers are required to have customized water shortage contingency plans, and Level 2 is aimed at preparing for a water shortage level of up to 20%.
Newsom’s order also includes provisions to:
— ensure that vulnerable communities have drinking water;
— ensure new proposed wells do mot compromise existing wells or infrastructure in order to safeguard groundwater supplies;
— protect fish and wildlife where the drought is threatening their health and survival; and
— prevent illegal water diversions by expanding site inspections.
Read the full executive order here.