With nearly all of the State of California under extreme or exceptional drought, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order today asking that residents voluntarily reduce their water use by 15%. The Governor recommended residents to follow the guidelines at SaveOurWater.com.
50 of the State’s 58 counties are under a drought emergency. In announcing the executive order, the Governor’s press release says, “State officials estimate an additional 15 percent voluntary reduction by urban water users from 2020 levels could save as much as 850,000 acre-feet of water over the next year for future use, or enough to supply more than 1.7 million households for a year.”
The State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Water Resources will monitor progress on voluntary conservation, reservoir storage, soil moisture and other metrics in the coming months to determine whether additional drought response actions are needed.
Mandatory Water Use Restrictions.
While the Governor’s order calls for voluntary measures, there are local mandatory water reduction restrictions. In the Bay area, those restrictions range from curtailing residential and business irrigation and imposing water budgets. SFGate reports that in the City of Healdsburg, for example, residential customers are being assigned a water budget of 74 gallons per person per day while commercial customers are required to reduce water usage by 40%.