Proclamation authorizes State Water Board to ban wasteful water uses, boosting conservation efforts.
Following the second driest year on record and with near-record low storage in California’s largest reservoirs, Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday issued a proclamation extending the drought emergency statewide. He also further urged Californians to step up their water conservation efforts as the western U.S. faces a potential third dry year.
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“As the western U.S. faces a potential third year of drought, it’s critical that Californians across the state redouble our efforts to save water in every way possible. With historic investments and urgent action, the state is moving to protect our communities, businesses, and ecosystems from the immediate impacts of the drought emergency while building long-term water resilience to help the state meet the challenge of climate change impacts making droughts more common and more severe.”
– Governor Newsom
Newsome issued an executive order in July calling on Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15 percent compared to 2020 to protect water reserves and complement local conservation mandates. The Governor’s action this week comes as the Board reports that in August, California reduced urban water use by 5 percent compared to 2020.
As the West faces a potential 3rd year of drought, we’re extending the drought emergency statewide, making historic investments & taking action to protect communities.
It’s now more important than ever for Californians to save water in every way possible.https://t.co/s2y0FNuwgP
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) October 20, 2021
California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by lack of precipitation and high temperatures. August 2021 was the driest and hottest August on record since reporting began, and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record. Most of the state’s counties had been under a drought emergency since July, but Tuesday’s proclamation added the few previously spared regions.
The good news is that major storms are predicted this month, bringing rain and snow to parts of the state. However, recent reports show California would need 140% of its average annual precipitation to end the drought.
The California Department of Water Resources said earlier this month that the 2021 water year which ended September 30th, 2021, had the least rainfall since 1924.