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California's Drought: Brown Issues 2nd Executive Order

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

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Originally posted at 4:49 p.m. April 25, 2014. Edited with new details.

Speaking at an environmental summit at the Getty Center, 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.

--City News Service


Concerned Citizen April 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM
I wonder why we are building some $180 Billion bullet train from Bakerfield to wherever instead of building desalination plants to provide water. I guess a cute choo choo is much better than actually having water to live... UNBELIEVABLE! WAKE UP! and yes it will cost a little more for water, it is better than shriveling up and blowing away.
DMC April 28, 2014 at 11:20 AM
I recently read an article that asked--"What is the biggest thread to the world in the coming decade/century" and the answer was not nuclear war--it was population expansion---and of course the competition for resources that come with it. So water would be hi on the list as we as humans need it every day. We do waste tho and that would be one area of conservation to pay attention to. The other would be growth without proper planning. We are so interested in making our little city as well as every town in California--project housing and Affordable housing--but there seems to be no conversation about the increase in services that will follow---li9ke police---fire and WATER! Growth must be tied to services--but in this town it is not--in this County it is not and in this state it is not---we encourage illegal immigrants---we are proud to be a sanctuary City/State---but we don't consider the toll.
DMC April 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM
The other thought I have on water is--how much water is there provided to Novato/Marin/California and how much of that water (from rain snow wells etc) actually goes in to the ocean? What percentage of the available water do we use and what percentage makes it to the ocean? Why haven't we provided a plan for increase in storage facilities?--Damns---Reservoirs--man made lakes? Just wondering with all the brilliant minds in government6--why we do not have a plan either locally or Statwide.
Dave Robertson April 28, 2014 at 03:28 PM
Water is a (shortage) problem this year - but it is predicted that next year may bring an excess with El Nino. Either way, the politics in this state are unreal - and water need not be one of them. After 32 years of living here, I can honestly say that Californians waste more water than people in other states. And no, I am not talking about the "flush the toilet" kind or the "shower" kind. The only thing that I see in this order that makes no sense is to scale back outside watering to twice a week. Many homeowners tend to "switch around" areas - watering the lawn one night, irrigating other areas on other nights. Drip irrigation is most efficient if done slowly. This way also makes it easier to check for leaks (common with all the wildlife who like to eat the tubing). I just hope that this "dry time" is a wake up call for our politicians to create an infrastructure that can sustain many northern California communities (such as Novato) for a longer period. We have done very little up here to manage that, and pale in comparison to the changes that Southern California has done in the past 20 years. Unfortunately that wold mean that our government admit we have an infrastructure problem - and governments don't like to admit mistakes. It would also suggest we put a moratorium on growth until we have the infrastructure to handle the increase in population. But, as typical in California, different groups tend to be obstinate in defending their causes - even if it means moderating the timing of their agenda. The bottom line is that we don't need growth now - we do need an infrastructure that can make us water independent and sufficient. Mother nature doesn't listen to anyone. I guess that here, in the Bay Area, we think we can outwit nature. Not true!
Kerry Jacobs May 25, 2014 at 01:37 AM
Liberals have flushed massive water to the ocean to save the Delta Smelt which isn't necessary. Now the humans don't have any water and the hacks want us to cut back ?? .. Ha ha, not happening here silly liberals. We should charge anyone who votes democrat 50% more for their water then anyone else and then watch them vote differently in the future. Its that simple. Until then the tailspin of this once great state continues

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