RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Governor Jerry Brown’s mandatory statewide water restrictions, announced Wednesday amidst escalated effects of the state’s historic drought, mean big changes for the residents of California.
As water continues to become more scarce and the state grows drier, Governor Brown’s goal is to reduce water usage by 25 percent. Instrument’s such as NASA’s Soil Moisture Active-Passive observatory are now contributing to monitor the state of California’s soil as the water cycle continues to bow before the drought.READ MORE: Father Of 3 Slain Children Visits Memorial Outside Reseda Apartment Complex, Mother In Custody
Brown’s plan requires all 400 of California’s local water agencies to come up with plans to monitor and cut water usage, under penalty of possible fines.
In addition to these reductions, Executive Order B-29-15 (PDF) also calls for Los Angeles and other local governments to replace up to 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought-tolerant landscaping, as well as requiring campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make “significant cuts” in water use.
The Western Municipal Water District has already taken measures to make it possible for residents to pitch in by making their yards more drought-resistant. The company began “killing” lawns in November, and is now waiting for the right to time to install a landscape that is more appropriate to the harsher climate.
Joining the trend, city leaders in Riverside even began killing laws in center medians on roadways.
“I tell customers to kill their turf, install something that’s more appropriate for the area that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, and uses very little water,” Western Municipal Water District’s Tim Barr said.READ MORE: Staff, Students Evacuated Safely, Suspect In Custody After Reports Of Man With Rifle Prompted Lockdown Of Sylmar High School
Among Gov. Brown’s orders are for Californians to swap out 50 million square feet of lawns with something that is more water-efficient.
California farmers, who are among those who have felt the impacts of the drought for several years, are discussing ways in which the consumers — who make up the majority of metropolitan and urban Californians — could be impacted.
“You’re going to see people needing products that require water to grow not being available, and you’re going to be seeing outsourced stuff from Mexico,” Angelo Farms’ Brian Davini said. “You’re going to see higher prices, yeah, absolutely.”
Water officials estimate 60%-70% of water is used outdoors, and are urging consumers at home to conserve water now and save money later.
“If they listen to our requests to reduce water at the time we call upon them to reduce water, they will not see a price increase,” Barr said. “They’ll actually see a price decrease, because they’re using less water.”MORE NEWS: 1 Dead, 1 Wounded In Shooting At Tennessee High School
According to the law in California Homeowner’s Association, HOA’s can’t fine homeowners for allowing their lawns to brown during an emergency like the one in which the state currently finds itself.