Droughts are not uncommon in California, but this year’s dry spell has reached unprecedented and dangers levels. California got even more bad news about the state of its historic drought last week, and now, residents have to take drastic measures to conserve the dwindling water supply.
Governor Jerry Brown ordered the state’s Water Resources Control Board to cut water consumption by 25%, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. In addition, he also ordered a ban on watering grass in public medians; cutbacks on huge watering spaces like golf courses and cemeteries and called out needing more information regarding water usage on large farms.
The first time Brown asked for a cutback was almost a year ago and it was a 20% voluntary cut in water use that most parts of the state have failed to attain. However, most of the water usage is coming from the agricultural industry, which there was no mandate placed upon. Residential water usage only accounts for less than 15% of the states use.
California is in the middle of a multiple yearlong drought that shows no sign of letting up. It is getting scarier by the day now that NASA predicted that the state has only one year of water left and many towns are already out of water.
“As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water — and the problem started before our current drought,” Jay Famiglietti, the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, writes in a Los Angeles Times piece. “NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002, when satellite-based monitoring began, although groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century.”