Newsom Expands Drought Emergency And Asks Californians To Cut Water Use By 15%

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an expanded drought emergency proclamation on Thursday to now cover 50 of California’s 58 counties and urged residents to cut water consumption by 15%.

The amended proclamation, which builds on two previous declarations from April and May and adds nine counties to the list, allows counties to forgo certain regulatory requirements to address drought conditions more easily, among other things.

Newsom also signed an executive order promoting water conservation, which he pitched as “a way of life” in California, urging residents to take “common sense” water use reduction measures, such as lowering irrigation volume and shortening shower times.

“We are hopeful the people of the state of California will take that mindset brought into the last drought and extend that forward with a 15% voluntary reduction,” Newsom said during a press conference near San Luis Obispo at Lopez Lake, which is currently about one-third full, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Newsom, a Democrat, emphasized the conservation recommendations — meant to include residences, business, and agricultural operations — are “voluntary” and not representative of a “nanny state.”

“We are not trying to be oppressive,” he said.

The orders signed Thursday also directs state agencies to “identify unspent funds that can be repurposed to enable projects to address drought impacts to people, ecosystems and economic activities.”

Newsom, who has prioritized responding to climate change by scaling back carbon emissions during his stint as governor, proposed a budget in May that would spend $11.8 billion in climate-related expenditures, with $5.1 billion devoted to improving water infrastructure.

“You’ll find few people more clear in terms of their conviction that the hots are getting a lot hotter, the dry’s are getting a lot drier, and climate change is real,” Newsom said Thursday, urging people to “believe their own eyes” and pointing to a recent record-breaking heatwave that struck western parts of the United States and Canada.

Author: Jeremy Beaman

Source: Washington Examiner: Newsom expands drought emergency and asks Californians to cut water use by 15%

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