Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a call Thursday for residents of his state to cut back on summer water usage amid a harsh drought and heatwave.
Newsom suggested Californians take shorter showers, water their lawns less and fix leaks in pipes or faucets, according to The Los Angeles Times. The governor has thus far avoided implementing mandatory rationing just two months ahead of his forthcoming recall election.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking Californians to voluntarily cut back on household water consumption by 15% compared with last year as drought conditions worsen and temperatures continue to rise across the state and the Western United Stateshttps://t.co/F3bPYbXt26 pic.twitter.com/ihGbUf71uN
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 8, 2021
“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 operations,” Newsom said at a Thursday news conference. “We’re not trying to be oppressive. Again, these are voluntary standards.”
Roughly half the state is now under a regional state of emergency due to the high temperatures and water shortages, according to the Times. Several wildfires are ablaze in the northern half of California, and key water reservoirs are on track to reach historic lows later this year. (RELATED: California Begs For More Electricity Amid Heatwave And Transition To Green Energy)
Lake Oroville is at only 30% capacity, and officials fear Lake Mendocino could be empty in the coming months as well. It’s possible officials will be forced to shut down at least one hydroelectric power plant, according to Fox News.
The recall effort against Newsom was primarily brought about by his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which critics characterized as overbearing and economically harmful. (RELATED: TOTAL RECALL: Newsom’s Election Challenge Moves Forward)
If recalled and replaced, Newsom would be the second California governor to be removed from office in such a way following the election of Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003. As of now, however, polls indicate Newsom is likely to remain in office.