On April 25th, Governor Jerry Brown announced the issuance of a second executive order aimed at reducing the impact of California’s drought. Brown was speaking at an environmental summit at the Getty Center. The order includes the suspension of parts of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the rest of this year.
“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.” By lifting bureaucratic restrictions on water transfers, the order provides relief to farmers. It also will help firefighters by streamlining contracting rules for equipment purchases and allows landowners to quickly clear brush.
As a 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 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 [California’s 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.