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California Gov. Newsom asks residents to cut the usage of water by 15% as drought grips the state

California Gov. Newsom asks residents to cut the usage of water by 15%

July 12, 2021: On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom asked residents to curb household water consumption from 15% as the U.S. West grapples with a prolonged drought and record-breaking temperatures.

In a San Luis Obispo County press conference, the governor added nine counties to the drought emergency declaration of the state.

The emergency proclamation cover 50 out of 58 counties as the state experiences depleted water reservoir during an ongoing drought. The counties such as San Luis Obispo, Inyo, Marin, Mono, Monterey, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara are all added to the list.

The order of the governor makes it easier for counties to coordinate with the state to address water supply issues. According to the governor’s office, successfully to reduce water usage by 15% would save 850,000 acre-feet of water, which is the amount to supply above 1.7 million households for one year.

Ways to conserve water include limiting outdoor water use and using recycled water for outdoor projects, taking shorter showers, and only running the dishwasher and washing machine when complete, the governor’s office said.

Over three-fourths of the West is in severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. A record-setting heatwave fueled by climate change recently sent temperatures into the triple digits in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada and caused hundreds of heat-related deaths.

Grid operators in California have also called on residents to limit electricity use to avoid blackouts as wildfires begin to scorch the state. The state’s largest utility, PG&E, has said it could shut off power more frequently this year to curb fire risk in Northern California.

California’s wildfire season this year started early and is forecast to be even worse than last year’s record-breaking season. Five of the six largest fires in California’s history occurred last year. The state will have its most significant firefighting force in history this season.

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