Governor Declares Drought, Calls for Voluntary Water Use Reduction
ACWA Mobilizing on Several Fronts
Gov. Jerry Brown today declared an official drought state of emergency in California and directed state agencies to take a number of actions to respond to drought conditions.
The governor also called on Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 20%, and directed residents to Save Our Water – a partnership between ACWA and the California Department of Water Resources – for ways to reduce household water use, both indoor and outdoor.
The drought declaration eases some state and federal regulations governing water management and pushes the state’s water crisis into the forefront of the public eye. Brown urged Californians to look for water conservation tips on the public awareness campaign website www.saveourh2o.org.
“We’re facing perhaps the worst drought California has seen since records began being kept 100 years ago…,” Brown said during a morning press conference in San Francisco. “This takes a coming together of all Californians.”
Brown stressed that the state also will continue to work to streamline voluntary water transfers to “make it easier for someone who has water to sell it to someone who needs more.” The governor cautioned, however, that the state can’t govern its way out of a drought.
“There is no government program that can compensate for the lack of rain…,” said Brown. “We ought to be ready for a long, persistent, sustained effort to collaborate.”
The governor’s drought emergency proclamation also directs local urban water suppliers and cities to implement water shortage contingency plans “in order to avoid or forestall outright restrictions.”
ACWA is moving quickly on several fronts to respond to drought conditions in 2014 and to keep its members apprised of all developments related to the drought. Activities include:
1) Statewide coordination: ACWA is working with members and other external groups to coordinate messaging and activities and produce tools to assist with communicating drought impacts and issues.
2) Information clearinghouse: As it has in past droughts, ACWA will serve as an information clearinghouse for the media and general public, tracking and communicating impacts on local agencies and their actions in response.
3) Consumer-focused public education: In partnership with the Department of Water Resources, ACWA is leading the Save Our Water program to channel conservation information directly to consumers and provide overarching messaging and turn-key tools and resources that ACWA member agencies can use for local outreach.
ACWA has launched a special drought section on its website with information on conditions around the state and other resources. The section can be accessed directly here.
To help gather the most current information on local agency responses, ACWA will launch an online survey early next week. Please watch for an alert with a link to the survey in the coming days.
The governor’s drought declaration is available here.
ACWA Executive Director Tim Quinn issued a statement on the drought declaration. The press release is available here.
ACWA’s 2014 Drought Watch information is available here.Tags: Climate change, drought