California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday that mandatory water restrictions could be a reality for residents if overall use doesn’t go down on its own.
The state relies on rainfall to replenish its water resources during January through March but this year there was less rain than ever. This has caused major concern over the water supply for the upcoming summer months. Along with California’s water use going up 19% in March compared to 2020.
“Every water agency across the state needs to take more aggressive actions to communicate about the drought emergency and implement conservation measures,” Newsom said in a statement.
The mandatory water restrictions were discussed in a meeting with representatives from water agencies that provide the water for its major cities including Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Newsom has avoided mandatory water restrictions so far by allowing the local water companies to apply their own restrictions.
“From our perspective it works best when local water managers deal with local water supply conditions, but we’re trying to support the state, we’re trying to support the governor as best we can,” said Ed Stevenson, general manager for the Alameda County Water District.
California has been dealing with a drought that has left a majority of areas in severe or extreme water situations.
Newsom asked residents to reduce water use by 15% last summer by taking shorter showers and only doing necessary laundry and dishwashing. Despite the efforts, water use still went up in the state.