Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking residents across the state to voluntarily cut their water use by 15% amid extreme drought conditions.
LOS ANGELES, CA — Although Southern California is not yet included in the state’s drought-emergency proclamation, Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday urged Angelenos to voluntarily restrict their water usage. All of Los Angeles County is under extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. On the whole, California is gripped by one of the worst droughts on record.
Newsom is asking residents across the state to voluntarily cut their water use by 15% amid worsening conditions across the West Coast.
He also called on businesses to slash their water use. According to the governor’s office, a 15% cut in water use would save 850,000 acre-feet of water — enough to supply more than 1.7 million households for a year.
Newsom said residents have responded to drought conditions before, and he was confident they would take steps again to ease their water use. The last time California was in a state of drought emergency, mandatory cutbacks were ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown, forcing residents to let their lawns go brown while cutting back on the length of showers and loads of laundry.
He urged residents to limit outdoor watering, use recycled water when possible outdoors, take shorter showers and only run dishwashers and washing machines when they are full.
Newsom added nine more counties to the state’s drought-emergency proclamation on Thursday. The move means 50 of the state’s 58 counties are covered by the proclamation, or about 42% of the overall population.
The only counties not covered by the proclamation are Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Imperial, Ventura and San Francisco.
Although Southern California is still excluded from the proclamation, the general manager of the region’s water wholesaler said residents need to do their part in reducing water use.
“Southern California must be part of the statewide movement to address the significant water supply challenges created by drought and climate change,” Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, said in a statement. “We are one when it comes to water, and our state’s river ecosystems and snowpack-reliant supplies are under greater and greater stress.
“The governor’s call for the public to voluntarily cut back water use by 15 percent demonstrates the seriousness of this growing drought yet preserves the flexibility local managers need,” Hagekhalil said. “Southern Californians have done a great job maintaining lower water use since the last drought, yet this drought demands that we all re-examine and renew our water-saving habits and do everything we can to use this precious resource as wisely as possible.”