California's Drought: Brown Issues 2nd Executive Order

The governor suspends some environmental laws but stops short of enacting new restrictions on water use.

Speaking at an environmental summit at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday the issuance of a second executive order aimed at reducing the impact of California's drought.

The order includes the suspension of parts of the California Environmental Quality Act for the rest of this year -- just in time for the state's driest months.

"This order cuts red tape to help get water to farmers more quickly, ensure communities have safe drinking water, protect vulnerable species and prepare for an extreme fire season," Brown said. "I call on every city, every community, every Californian to conserve water in every way possible."

The order provides relief to farmers by lifting bureaucratic restrictions on water transfers, while directing wildlife officials to monitor Chinook salmon and other fish that could be impacted by the drought. It also helps firefighters by streamlining contracting rules for equipment purchases and allows landowners to quickly clear brush.

"Our fire seasons are longer and the dry season is upon us, so we have to take renewed vigilance," Brown said.

As part of the order, Californians are encouraged to:

-- avoid using water to clean sidewalks, driveways and parking lots;

-- turn off fountains and other decorative water features unless they use recycled or grey water;

-- limit vehicle washing at homes by going to car washes that use recycled water; and

-- scale back outdoor watering of lawns and landscaping to no more than two times a week.

In addition, the governor encouraged recreational facilities and professional sporting venues to implement water reduction plans.

The declaration does not include mandatory restrictions on water use.

In January, Brown declared a drought state of emergency in response to the limited snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, with California well into its third year of drought.

"Hopefully, it (the drought) will be over, but you never know. We've had long, long droughts in the past, and one never knows what we're up against in the future," Brown said.

Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, hailed Brown's announcement.

"Metropolitan is counting on enhanced conservation this year so that the Southland can maintain adequate water supplies in reserve for next year," he said. "Every effort to conserve water can add up to real and meaningful savings that can be called upon if the drought stretches into 2015."

Related article: 

--City News Service

S.Giraud April 28, 2014 at 11:50 AM
We need more Water Storage Capacity Gov. Moonbeam.We keep growing in population, but no new water sources. You "Progressives" are a big joke. NO common sense.
MadMonkey April 29, 2014 at 04:45 PM
In theory we have enough water storage. This is our 3rd straight year of draught and we are at roughly 25% of normal. It is a once in 20-30 year event. Though some new storage would help, having everyone understand that we live in a dry climate and to not waste water would go a long way. I am a 5th generation native californian. Our family has always conserved ( have rain barrels, never just hosed down the sidewalk, washed full loads, never just let the faucet run, etc) because that is how we have always had to be here in California until somewhat recently. I have over 200 gallons stored right now, my yard will look fine this summer without turning on the hose. I say we do not go far enough, we should do what Arizona requires with gray water and increase personal water storage. There are smarter, less expensive ways than just building more reservoirs.
RM April 28, 2014 at 03:33 PM
Hey Giraud, F you, how's that for common sense?
MadMonkey April 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM
Really?! If you don't agree with his comment, then say something intelligent in reply. Otherwise, shut your yap.
S.Giraud April 28, 2014 at 08:47 PM
Hey RM, can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen you good Communist. Why don't we meet some place and you say your above comment to my face ?


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