California Imposes Mandatory Water Limits

First in state’s history

California is imposing mandatory water restrictions that will reduce usage by 25 percent in cities and towns. (woodleywonderworks/Flickr)

California Governor Jerry Brown announced Wednesday the first mandatory water restrictions in the state’s history.

Brown ordered the California Water Resources Control Board to implement the restrictions, which will reduce water usage by 25 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times

In addition to prohibiting or limiting certain water uses, Brown’s order also calls for the creation of a mechanism to enforce the policy’s water district reporting requirements and proposes a statewide rebate program to incentivize the use of water-efficient appliances. Brown added that cease-and-desist orders or fines could be issued to those who fail to comply with the new restrictions. 

The announcement came on the heels of new data showing that the Sierra Nevada snowpack was lower this past winter than any year since 1950, when record keeping began. Readings on April 1 showed the snowpack at 5 percent of its historical average; never before had it registered less than 25 percent of the historical average for that day.

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