Tough Water Use Restrictions Could Be Coming to California

Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded the drought Proclamation of Emergency Tuesday to include all counties in Southern California as well as San Francisco. The Proclamation now covers all 58 counties in the state.

The order gives the State Water Resources Board permission to enact restrictions on water use, such as watering sidewalks or irrigating road medians. Newsom has already urged California residents to voluntarily conserve.

“As the western U.S. faces a potential third year of drought, it’s critical that Californians across the state redouble our efforts to save water in every way possible,” Newsom said in a news release. “With historic investments and urgent action, the state is moving to protect our communities, businesses and ecosystems from the immediate impacts of the drought emergency while building long-term water resilience to help the state meet the challenge of climate change impacts making droughts more common and more severe.”

The San Jose Water Company is already implementing mandatory water conservation rules and is seeking authorization to enact surcharges for those who fail to conserve. The actions in San Jose will affect around 1 million people.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows 87% of the state in extreme drought. California’s reservoirs are experiencing historically low levels.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.