On April 1 (No April Fool’s Joke), 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed a seven-page Executive Order that imposed 25% mandatory water reduction in 2015 over 2013 usage for urban areas, commercial, industrial, and institutional properties (campuses, golf courses, cemeteries), along with other restrictions. It is worthwhile to read the entire Executive Order.
Brown maintains that global warming is producing climate change, which can result in long-term drought. So what took him so long to act? Why did he wait four years until California was in a full-blown water crisis? One or two more years of drought, which Brown acknowledges is a possibility, would reduce the lakes, reservoirs, and underground aquifers to catastrophically low levels.
We know the answer: Governor Brown is a hard-core environmentalist. Environmentalists have blocked all attempts to build new water storage facilities since the 1970s.
Governor Brown was careful to throw environmentalists under the bus only for a limited period of a year or so. Nor did he address large-scale farming, which uses 80% of the state’s water.
Brown’s Executive Order contained 31 Directives.
To carry out directives 2-9, 11, 16-17, 20-23, and 25, Brown suspended regulations commencing with section 21,000 of the Public Resources Code until May 31, 2016.
To carry out directives 20-21, he suspended section 13247 and Chapter 3 of Part 3 of the Water Code.
In Directive 30 he suspended additional sections of the Government and Public Resources codes to accelerate the development and adoption of regulations to carry out provisions in his Order.
Australia was able to rationalize its use of water only after 11 years of drought. It might take two more years of drought to rationalize the use of water in California, to the dismay of environmentalists.
Reality has a nasty way of impinging on ideology!