Jul 8, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Gov. Newsom asks Californians to cut water use by 15% amid drought

Picture of California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday asked state residents to voluntarily reduce household water usage by 15% due to worsening drought conditions.

State of play: Newsom is yet to issue a California-wide state of emergency or mandate any water use restrictions. However, on Thursday, he expanded his regional drought state of emergency to apply to 50 of the state's 58 counties, which includes about 42% of the population, Newsom said.

  • Newsom encouraged residents to take shorter showers, run dishwashers only when completely full and refrain from watering lawns.

By the numbers: As of late June, 33% of the state was under 'exceptional' drought conditions, the most severe classification by the Energy Information Administration, Axios' Ben Geman writes.

What they're saying: "We’re hopeful that people will take that mindset they brought into the last drought and extend that forward with a 15%, voluntary reduction, not only on residences, but industrial commercial operations and agricultural operation," Newsom said.

Go deeper: Tallying the Western drought's toll on California hydropower

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