Californians Could Face Mandatory Statewide Water Restrictions

Carmela Karcher

California is now in its third year of drought.

Currently, water agencies across the state have tailored, localized approaches based on the area’s needs.

But if this doesn’t result in a significant reduction in water use, that could soon change.

“Since 800 AD, we have never experienced, in the west coast of the United States, consecutive dry years like we have experienced,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. “1,200 years. We are experiencing things we’ve never experienced.”

This was one of many statements from Governor Gavin Newsom to show just how bad the drought really is this year.

On Monday, Governor Newsom met with the state’s largest urban water suppliers and associations to review what steps have been taken.

But, he said there needs to be more effort in engaging customers to demonstrate urgency.

Last July, Governor Newsom called on Californians to cut water use by 15%.

But this March, the target was not met and usage increased by 19% compared to last year.

With that, local businesses are already preparing for major cuts.

“Water upon request, especially out here in the desert it gets really hot in the summertime and we are almost to that time,” Piero’s PizzaVino General Manager Chris Bluhm shared. “Also making sure the equipment, like our dishwasher and sinks are up to par. That’s definitely going to help out. We are making sure that faucets and toilets are at the proper gallons per flush.”

On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board voted on a statewide ban of watering nonfunctional turf for commercial, industrial and institutional sectors.

This applies to lawns and other areas not regularly used by people for recreation.

However, this does not include grass for sports fields and areas that are regularly used.

These regulations are expected to be put in place the week of June 6.

Governor Newsom will meet with agency leaders again in the next two months for an update.

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