April 1, 2015

Brown Announces Historic Water Restrictions for California


Today, California Governor Jerry Brown announced historic, statewide mandatory water restrictions aimed primarily at urban water users in response to California’s ongoing drought.  Brown’s Executive Order mandates substantial water reductions for all Californians across the state.  In his announcement, the governor acknowledged that agriculture has “borne much of the brunt of the drought to date, with hundreds of thousands of fallowed acres, significantly reduced water allocations and thousands of farmworkers laid off.” 

Responding to the announcement, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif said, “Through these actions, Governor Brown acknowledges the seriousness of the drought all Californians face.  Although much of the population has been relatively unaffected by the natural and man-made causes perpetuating the drought, no one has been more affected than California farmers.  Western Growers is pleased that the governor, in his announcement, has acknowledged the plight of the state’s farmers and the sacrifices they have made in fallowing hundreds of thousands of acres and laying off thousands of farmworkers due to the lack of water.”   

The Executive Order aims to accomplish four things:

Save Water:  Directs the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California to reduce water usage by 25 percent.

Increase Enforcement:  Calls on local water agencies to adjust their rate structures to implement conservation pricing and requires ag water users to report more water use information while also requiring water districts to develop water management plans and require the filing of permanent monthly reports of water usage.

Streamline Government Response: Prioritizes and streamlines permitting and review of water projects in the state.

Invest in New Technologies:   Incentivizes promising new technology that will make California more water efficient through a new program administered by the California Energy Commission.