California Faces Statewide Mandatory Water Restrictions as Drought Worsens

2021 California drought map

California is currently facing mandatory water restrictions as drought grips the state.

“Despite a wet start to the water year, conditions have dried out since that first storm and we are still planning for a below-average water year,” Karla Nemeth, director of the Department of Water Resources, said in a statement. “That means we need to prepare now for a dry winter and severe drought conditions to continue through 2022.”

“If conditions continue to be this dry, we will see mandatory cutbacks,” she added.

California Governor Gavin Newsom expanded a statewide drought emergency in October which allowed the state water board to ban residents from hosing down driveways and overwatering lawns.

NBC News reported:

California water officials warn the state could be headed toward another round of mandatory water restrictions as some communities prepare to receive no water allocations, except in cases of emergency, from the State Water Project, a complex system of canals, reservoirs and dams that provide water to 27 million people.

It’s the earliest date on which the Department of Water Resources has issued a 0 percent water allocation, a milestone that reflects the dire conditions in California as drought continues to grip the nation’s most populous state and reservoirs sit at historically low levels.

In 2015, then-Gov. Jerry Brown ordered California’s first statewide mandatory restrictions, saying at the time that “historic drought demands unprecedented action.”

Those conservation efforts, which included mandating a 25 percent reduction in water use enforceable by fines, ushered in a new era of drought-resistant landscaping, shorter showers and cutting back on water-guzzling appliances.

California dreaming in 2022: Where water restrictions and Covid mandates are the new normal.

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