As the state’s drought worsens and temperatures rise, Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging Californians to reduce their water usage by 15 percent.
Newsom put out the request during a July 8 press conference in San Luis Obispo, where he said 50 out of the California’s 58 counties are now included in the state’s drought emergency proclamation.
The governor is asking for water to be reduced in industrial and agricultural operations, and called on Californians to do their part to help. Suggested water conservation methods include limiting the amount of water used on lawns and taking shorter showers.
Newsom highlighted the state’s previous drought and mandatory conservation efforts and the ability to reduce water consumption by 21 percent between 2012 and 2016.
“I’m not here as the nanny state,” Newsom said. “I’m not trying to be oppressive. … We brought in that mindset into this drought, and this gives us the advantage over the last drought.
“Residential use in the state of California currently is 16 percent below where we were in 2013, as we go into this next drought. We have also been more effective and efficient in terms of water recycling [and] storage, and we have made a substantial amount of progress on groundwater strategies.”
California Sen. Scott Wilk, a Republican, responded to the governor’s announcement by questioning his conservation logic.
“Urban water use constitutes 10 percent of the total water portfolio,” Wilk said on Twitter. “So a 15 percent reduction is a reduction of only 1.5 percent. This isn’t policy, but politics. The answer: capture, convey, and store water.”
The counties not included in the drought proclamation include Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Francisco, and Imperial.