California governor asks residents to cut water use
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) asked Golden State residents and businesses Thursday to voluntarily use less water as the state and other parts of the West continue to suffer a major drought and record-setting high temperatures.
Newsom said he would sign an executive order to encourage residents, “industrial commercial operations and agricultural operations” to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 15 percent.
The governor, who is facing a recall election in September, emphasized that it was a voluntary request, adding that California was “not here as a nanny state.” He said he wanted people to be mindful of water usage in everyday tasks like showering and watering the lawn.
According to The Associated Press, reservoirs in California are already at abnormally low levels and could reach record lows soon. A reservoir in northern California, Lake Oroville, was at 30 percent capacity. Another reservoir, located in San Luis Obispo County, it is at 34 percent capacity.
Newsom’s announcement comes a day after Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials placed a voluntary ban on people fishing along a stretch of the Colorado River. Officials noted that higher water temperatures, low flow and sediment buildup from last year’s wildfires made it difficult for fish to survive.
Colorado officials also noted that gauges of river flows were lower than normal. The Catamount Bridge along the Colorado River measures between 1,500 and 2,000 cubic feet per second according to a U.S. Geological Survey gauge. But lately, the agency said it had been measuring half of that amount between 600 and 700 cubic feet per second.
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