State Water Resources Control Board announces statewide bans surrounding watering
In response to the ongoing and severe drought in California, the State Water Resources Control Board has announced new proposed guidelines surrounding restricted watering that will go into effect on June 10th. This proposed statewide ban would prevent watering "non-functional turf", which is defined as any grass that is solely for decoration and has no utility towards recreation, on commercial and industrial properties. This ban would not apply to residential properties.
As well as this proposed ban, regional water districts are thinking about enacting even tighter restraints on water usage to both homeowners and commercial areas around California. The Los Angeles area has already adopted some of these rules, as set out by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. In many jurisdictions, the rules limit outdoor watering to one day a week, whereas some areas went with a flat volume limit instead.
Governor Gavin Newsom said, "Every water agency across the state needs to take more aggressive actions to communicate about the drought emergency and implement conservation measures."
California has a history of draught, and when an especially strong one struck in 1990 in San Diego, the region's water authority took action. San Diego County negotiated to get water from the Colorado River, it reduced agriculture watering, raised dams to increase water storage, and provided rebates to homeowners who installed water-efficient lawns.
They even invested in a large desalination plant, that while expensive, is not affected by environmental issues. Due to all of this, San Diego is in a unique situation compared to the rest of California; the draught that is heavily affecting the rest of the state is not a terrible issue for them, as San Diego has an abundance, albeit an expensive one, of water.
There are a number of reservoirs throughout California that supply water for the state's population that have been heavily affected by this draught. The state's largest reservoirs, Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville, as well as the Colorado River Basin are all lower than they have ever been at this time of year. Shasta Lake is down to 40 percent capacity and Lake Oroville is down to 54 percent.