Tuesday, May 24, 2022

California governor warns of mandatory water cuts as drought worsens

California Gov. Gavin Newsom warned of potential mandatory water restrictions as the US's most populous state continues to fight a worsening drought, now on its third year.

Newsom raised the possibility during a meeting with the state's major urban water agencies, which service roughly two-thirds of the state's nearly 40 million residents. He implored the firms to take more aggressive actions to conserve water and combat the drought, the governor's office said in a statement.

Newsom had traditionally refrained from issuing state-wide orders to address the climate change crisis, preferring more local responses to the sweeping water restrictions such action would entail.

The summer will be the test for whether the localized approach will endure with Newsom expecting "a significant reduction in water use statewide" or face state-wide mandatory restrictions.

“Every water agency across the state needs to take more aggressive actions to communicate about the drought emergency and implement conservation measures,” he said.

"Californians made significant changes since the last drought but we have seen an uptick in water use, especially as we enter the summer months. We all have to be more thoughtful about how to make every drop count," he added.

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