Governor Newsom Urges Local Water Agencies and Associations to Continue to Lead Conservation Efforts and Provide More Real-Time Data on Water Use
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today summoned local water officials for the second time in recent months to call for their continued action to reduce urban water use and help Californians save make permanent changes to adapt to a warmer, drier future. Preliminary figures that reflect 95% of the population show Californians reduced their water use by a total of 7.5% in June this year compared to June 2020. The increase in conservation comes a month after Governor Newsom directly called on local water officials to step up their work to ensure that all Californians do their part to conserve water.
Click here for the b-roll of the Governor’s meeting with local water officials.
At the meeting, the governor again urged leaders of the state’s largest urban water providers to continue local efforts to reduce water consumption in the face of limited supplies due to extreme heat and dry weather. He also stressed the urgency of reporting monthly water use data as soon as possible so that the state can more effectively track progress in real time.
Governor Newsom asked water agencies and associations to also think beyond immediate water conservation needs as the state — and the entire West — navigates a warmer environment and drier due to climate change.
“We are facing a changing climate in California that requires us to rethink not only how we use water, but also how we capture, store and distribute it across the state,” said the Governor Newsom. “We are moving in the right direction, but we need local water providers to do more to not only save water, but to help the state manage and increase supply as rain and snowfall becomes less reliable.”
The governor called the first meeting of local water officials in May as water use data showed Californians were using more water, despite demands for reductions. At this meeting, Governor Newsom called on water agencies to step up their efforts to reduce water use in extreme drought conditions.
Since then, under the governor’s direction, local water agencies serving all urban areas of California have adopted plans to reduce water use. In June, a statewide ban on watering non-functional turf in commercial and industrial settings went into effect. The ban is expected to save between 156,000 acre-feet and 260,000 acre-feet per year, equivalent to the water used by 780,000 households in one year.
Governor Newsom Summons Local Water Leaders to Sacramento
The climate crisis has resulted in climate change that has altered the water supply in the western United States. The West is experiencing some of the driest conditions on record. January through March were the first three driest months in the state’s recorded history, and the state’s largest reservoirs are currently at less than half their historical averages.
This year’s budget provides an additional $2.8 billion over several years to support drought resilience and response, including $1.5 billion that will be allocated this summer after additional discussions with the Legislative Assembly. These investments build on the previous investment of $5.2 billion over three years in state drought response and water resilience through the California Comeback Plan (2021).
The state is calling on Californians to take immediate action to avert a crisis, including:
- Limit outdoor watering – reducing even one day a week can save you up to 20% more water.
- Take shorter showers. Go for a 5-minute shower to save up to 12.5 gallons per shower when using a water-efficient showerhead.
- Take showers instead of baths – a bath uses up to 2.5 times more water than a shower.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean outdoor areas to save 6 gallons of water every minute.
- Wash full loads of laundry to save 15-45 gallons of water per load.