California given mandatory water restrictions

Mandatory water restrictions have been put into place on all businesses, residents and farms throughout the California state.

Govenor Jerry Brown said all cities and towns are to reduce their water usage by 25 percent.

Due to the lack of snow, the drought-ravaged state may see these restrictions in place for as long as nine months.
“We’re in a new era,” Brown said. “The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that’s going to be a thing of the past.

“This historic drought demands unprecedented action,” he concluded.

State officials say that over the next nine months, a 25 percent cut will reduce usage by about 1.5 million acre-feet of water (one acre-foot is equivalent to 325,000 gallons).

David Stivers, an executive vice president of the Pebble Beach company, said his company is studying the restrictions to see what effect it will have on business.

“It will not affect our golf course irrigation because we use recycled waste water (for golf course irrigation) from a plant we built in 1994,” he said.

Brown made the announcement while standing on a patch of brown grass which, during this time of year, is usually covered by several feet of snow.

The water restriction does not apply to the state’s agricultural industry, but the industry is expected to report more on its groundwater use. The exclusion prompted criticism since the agriculture industry is responsible for consuming about 80 percent of the state’s developed water supply.

While many state-run farms have taken a hit, even laying off workers, climate writer Eric Holthaus says that “wasteful agriculture is literally sucking California dry.”

The imposed water restrictions come after the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which the state relies heavily on for water, remains at a near record low.

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