Let’s start from the top, as we reported two weeks ago, California Governor Jerry Brown announced an Executive Order mandating statewide water restrictions to reduce water usage by 25% over the next nine-months. 

We applaud the Governor for taking action to address the state’s drought.  In past years, on behalf of the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry, CBPA has provided input to, and thoroughly reviewed the State’s plans for water efficiency, supported legislation to implement strategic plans, and advocated for more storage and conveyance.  We again stand with the Governor and support his calls for more water savings and have been at several meeting this week to provide input.

Most of our members have done a great job reducing water usage over the past five years and have set the pace in terms of innovating with gray water and drought tolerant urban landscaping.  This has been acknowledged and appreciated, however, the Governor is asking urban water users to do more, and in the immediate

In addition to saving water, however, we continue to point out that California’s water system is in great need of improvements.  Our population is expected to grow by more than 600,000 people each year, mushrooming the population to as many as 48 million by 2020; DWR projections show that this growth could increase annual water demands by 6 million acre feet by 2030; and recent studies predict that 25% of the snowpack, which is our largest water storage system, will be lost by 2050.  This last prediction seemed far-fetched several years ago, however the visual of the Governor standing in a meadow with a long pole and no snow has shown the realness of the concern.

To accommodate for growth as well as these anticipated hydrological changes, California must be prepared to manage our water in a comprehensive, efficient manner.  There are many impediments to doing so, including a tangible shortage of facilities, the lack of effective conveyance, and problems with the Delta.

Here are the source materials for the Governor’s water conservation mandates – the Executive Order provides the roadmap to where action is going to be taken:

Governor’s Synopsis of Mandatory Water Reductions

California Executive Order B-29-15

These actions follow the enactment of a $1 billion water package signed last week for local drought relief and infrastructure projects to make the state’s water infrastructure more resilient.

The water shortfall is evident, the disaster is eminent, unless we act to help our state navigate its way out of this crisis.

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