Saying that California is in a "historic drought", Jerry Brown ordered mandatory restrictions (report by NY Times).
PHILLIPS, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown ordered mandatory water use reductions for the first time in California’s history on Wednesday, saying the state’s four-year drought had reached near-crisis proportions after a winter that brought record-low snowfalls.
On a typical year, the measure in Phillips is around five or six feet, as Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey Program, indicated by displaying the measuring stick brought out annually. But on Wednesday, Mr. Brown found himself standing on an utterly dry field after he and Mr. Gehrke went through the motions of measuring a snowpack. The governor said that snowpacks across the state were, almost without exception, at historic lows.
"We are standing on dry grass, and we should be standing on five feet of snow," Mr. Brown said. "We in an historic drought."
"People should realize we are in a new era," he said. "The idea of your nice little green lawn getting watered every day, those days are past."
State officials said they were prepared to enforce punitive measures – including fines – to assure compliance, but said they were hopeful it would not be necessary.
Check out the NY Times article for for the disturbing photos of what a California drought looks like. And then get set: similar stuff is coming our way, Arizonans. Maybe not today, not tomorrow, but soon. Remember that we queue up behind California for CAP water.