​Utilities Group Comments on California Drought Conservation Order

​Utilities Group Comments on California Drought Conservation Order

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued a new executive order calling on local water suppliers to activate their drought contingency plans as California faces its third consecutive year of serious drought.

Specifically, the executive order calls on local water suppliers to move to Level 2 of their Water Shortage Contingency Plans, which require locally appropriate actions for conserving water across all sectors and actions for water supply augmentation. Newsom’s executive order also directs the State Water Resources Control Board to consider a ban on watering of decorative grass at businesses and institutions.

Danielle Blacet-Hyden, deputy executive director of the California Municipal Utilities Association, released the following statement about the governor’s drought directive:

“Despite today’s rain, California continues to experience serious drought conditions. The state must work together to effectively manage water demand, and we greatly appreciate Governor Newsom’s emphasis on implementing the water shortage contingency plans that water suppliers have carefully crafted to best serve their communities. At the same time, California needs to refocus its water supply strategy and bolster recent state investments to help ensure we are better prepared for this ongoing drought and for droughts to come.”

CMUA member water agencies, which collectively provide water to nearly 75% of California, already are taking action in a variety of ways to mitigate the drought’s impacts on local communities and the state as a whole. These actions include:

• Requiring either mandatory or voluntary water conservation indoors and outdoors;
• Implementing water shortage contingency plans;
• Advancing and implementing projects to increase local water supply, such as recycling and water reuse;
• Ramping up public relations campaigns to encourage additional local and regional water conservation; and
• Bolstering turf replacement incentives and a range of other programs that help households and businesses use water more efficiently.

“CMUA members are committed to doing their part to save water now, and they also are taking actions to increase overall water-use efficiency, leading the charge to make conservation a California way of life,” Blacet-Hyden says.


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