California Governor Jerry Brown took executive action on Wednesday, ordering the California Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water use restrictions across the state, with a 25% reduction identified. The move marks the first time in the state’s history that there has been a mandatory statewide restriction on water use. The order also includes a number of other measures designed to curb water use, including providing incentives to replace lawns with drought-tolerant landscape.
Agriculture, the state’s largest user of water, would be “required to report more water usage information to the state so that regulators can better find waste and improper activities.”
Electronic readings on Wednesday at about 100 stations across the Sierra showed that the water content of the snow was only about 5% of the state average for April 1, the date on which snowpack is normally considered at its peak.
The Governor was on hand as officials measured the snowpack.
“It’s a different world,” he said. “We have to act differently.”