Californians could see mandatory water cuts amid drought
Climate Signals summary: Water use restrictions may soon become more widespread in western states such as California as human-caused climate change continues to worsen the drought in the Western U.S.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom threatened Monday to impose mandatory water restrictions if residents don’t use less on their own as a drought drags on and the hotter summer months approach.
Newsom raised that possibility in a meeting with representatives from water agencies that supply major cities including Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Democratic governor has avoided issuing sweeping, mandatory cuts in water use and instead favored giving local water agencies power to set rules for water use in the cities and towns they supply.
January through March typically is when most of California’s annual rain and snow falls, but this year those months were the driest in at least a century. Despite calls for conservation, the state’s water use went up dramatically in March — 19% compared to the same month in 2020 — and now Newsom is considering changing his approach.
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