Governor Brown Directs First Ever Statewide Mandatory Water Reductions with Executive Order B-29-15
Today the first ever madated water reductions in California were issued via Governor Brown's Executive Order B-29-15.
According to the press release issued on the Governor's website, "Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced actions that will save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state's drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient."
"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," said Governor Brown. "Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."
A few key highlights from the 31 directives in the Executive Order:
- CA Water Board will impose restrictions on water use to achieve a 25% reduction in potable urban water usage
- Department of Water Resources will lead a statewide initiative to collectively replace 50 million square feet of lawns and ornamental turf.
- New homes and developments will be prohibited from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used.
- CA Water Board will direct water supplies to create new rate structures and other pricing mechanisms (surcharges, fees, penalties, etc.) in order to conserve water and meet statewide water restrictions.
- Urban water suppliers will be required to provide monthly usage, conservation and enforcement data to the Water Board.
- Agricultural water suppliers will be required to include drought management plans as part of their 2015 Agricultural Water Management Plans.
- Water rights holders will be required to provide frequent reporting of water diversion and use; with the Water Board conducting inspections to determine if illegal diversions, wasteful or unreasonable use is taking place and taking enforcement actions when necessary.
- California Energy Commission will adopt emergency rules to establish standards for water efficient appliances (toilets, faucets) for new and existing buildings.
- A new Water Energy Technology (WET) program will be implemented by California Energy Commission, Department of Water Resources and Water Board. The program will focus on deploying water management technologies to businesses, residents, industry, and agriculture like renewable energy powered desalination, integrated on-site reuse systems, water-use monitoring systems, etc.
- Emergency Drought Salinity Barriers will be planned and implemented as necessary in Sacramento-San Joaquin delta estuary.
These key websites will help you monitor conditions and find out how your local area is handling water reduction and other water conservation efforts:
- Drought Conditions in California, US Drought Portal
- California Snow Survey, USDA National Resources Conservation ServiceNRCS
- State Water Board Drought Year Actions, California State Water Resource Control Board
- Drought Information, California Department of Water Resources
- California Drought Watch, UC Davis (comprehensive site for drought research, policy, data, maps, news)
- Drought Watch, Association of California Water Agencies (excellent site for research reports, news, legislation and laws, data, local water conditions and conservation efforts)
- Daily Drought Information Summary, Department of Water Resources, California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) (The state's primary data source for water, precipitation, rivers, reservoirs, snow pack, etc.)
- What You Should Know - Drought Facts, SaveOurWater.org, includes a very handy list to help Find your water district
- Drought Watch 2015, from Santa Clara Valley Water District
- Drought Information, Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Area (BAWSCA)
- Conservation Information, Mid-Peninsula Water District
- Water and Drought Update, City of Palo Alto
- Water Efficiency, Stanford Sustainability and Energy Management (includes fact sheets, reports, water consumption, and contact information to report leaking faucets, toilets, water fountains on campus)
- Water Conservation Program and Project Map, Stanford University
- Water in the West, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Bill Lane Center on the American West (current research and reports on the water and drought issues, follow their blog for latest updates on these issues)
- Stanford Student Sustainable Living Guide (fourth edition), Sustainable Stanford
Finally, the Stanford Libraries have many resouces for conducting research on water, hydrology, and conservation. As a California Depository Library, we have collections from the key state agencies (Water Resources Control Board, Department of Water Resources, California Energy Commission). Please get in touch with me, KrisK11@stanford.edu, for research assistance!