SACRAMENTO – After convening top agricultural, environmental and urban water agency leaders on drought last week, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. will gather officials from the landscape, golf, home and garden, spa and pool, cemetery and mortuary, building and manufacturing, retail, restaurant and hospitality industries in Sacramento today to discuss the business community’s efforts to conserve water.
“The key challenge here – aside from getting the water – is to be able to collaborate together,” said Governor Brown at last week’s meeting. “We’re going to rise to the occasion as Californians first and as members of different groups second.”
When: Today, Thursday, April 16, 2015. The final few minutes of the meeting, including time for questions, will be open to coverage by credentialed media at approx. 3:00 p.m. Reporters must check in at 2:45 p.m.
Where: California State Capitol, Governor’s Office, Sacramento, CA 95814
Earlier this month, Governor Brown announced the first ever 25 percent statewide mandatory water reductions and a series of actions to help save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state’s drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient. This order included measures to help: replace lawns with drought tolerant landscaping and old appliances with more water and energy efficient models; cut water use at campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes; prevent potable water irrigation at new developments unless water-efficient drip systems are used; and stop watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.
Within days of the Governor’s order, the State Water Resources Control Board released its framework to achieve the mandatory water reductions and the California Energy Commission approved new water appliance standards to save billions of gallons of water per year. Yesterday, the California Department of Water Resources announced that due to the severe drought it will install an emergency, temporary rock barrier across a Sacramento San Joaquin Delta channel to help prevent the saltwater contamination of water that 25 million Californians depend on.
These measures build on unprecedented action by the State Water Resources Control Board over the past year to prohibit other wasteful water use and encourage Californians to conserve, including strict limits on outdoor irrigation (two days a week in much of California) and bans on hosing down outdoor surfaces, decorative water fountains that don’t recirculate water and car washing without an automatic shut-off nozzle. Bars and restaurants are also now required to only serve water upon request and hotels must ask guests staying multiple nights whether linens and towels need to be washed.
Governor Brown proclaimed a drought state of emergency in January 2014 and for more than two years, the state’s experts have been managing water resources to deal with the effects of the drought, which include severely curtailed water supplies to agricultural producers, farmworker job losses due to fallowed fields, drinking water vulnerability in communities across California, heightened fire danger and threats to endangered and threatened fish and wildlife.