Home>Articles>Governor Newsom Expands Drought State of Emergency To Entire State

Governor Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Governor Newsom Expands Drought State of Emergency To Entire State

The State Water Board is getting more power -it’s ‘just the next chapter in this battle’

By Evan Symon, October 20, 2021 1:14 pm

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that the drought state of emergency would be expanded again to include all remaining counties in California, with the California State Water Resources Control Board also receiving the power to instill bans on wasteful water practices.

The state of emergency over the drought began in April for two Northern Californians counties due to extremely low reservoir levels largely stating low precipitation, a poor snowpack and meltwater year bringing in less water from the mountains, higher than average temperatures, and environmental policy of releasing mass amounts of water to keep river and stream flow continual for endangered species in the area.

By May, most of the rest of the state besides Southern California were covered under the Governor’s drought order. Newsom also warned that mandatory water reduction efforts were going to be mandatory by October if the state didn’t hit a water reduction target of 15%.

However, the state failed to reach those targets, with the State Water Resources control Board finding that water reduction efforts only led to a 1.8% decrease in usage in July and only a 5% reduction in August. With voluntary efforts having failed, and despite Southern California not being affected by the drought as much due to their unique long-term water strategies, Newsom expanded the order on Tuesday.

The Counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura, as well as the straggling San Francisco County, were added in, with those counties now responsible for implementing water shortage contingency plans and prepare for a possible dry 2022.

“As the western U.S. faces a potential third year of drought, it’s critical that Californians across the state redouble our efforts to save water in every way possible,” Governor Newsom said Tuesday in a statement. “With historic investments and urgent action, the state is moving to protect our communities, businesses and ecosystems from the immediate impacts of the drought emergency while building long-term water resilience to help the state meet the challenge of climate change impacts making droughts more common and more severe.”

New statewide and local bans spurred by State Water Resources Control Board action will also likely to be announced soon, with Tuesday’s proclamation heavily hinting at banning washing of sidewalks and driveways, and possibly including cars. Measures instituted during the 2010’s drought may also be brought back, such as restaurants not automatically giving water to diners, and only allowing lawn watering three days a week or less. More local initiatives, such as rebates for replacing lawns with local plants based on the region to reduce water, may also be brought back again.

According to the Governor’s office, the Save Our Water Initiative, which curtailed water use significantly during and following the 2010’s drought in California by 16%, will be seeing a resurgence as well.

Critics of emergency expansion say that Newsom Administration is largely responsible for state having low water levels

Critics of Newsom’s Tuesday announcement pointed out that his administration had largely exacerbated the drought by nearly emptying reservoirs over the past few years due to various initiatives and uses, including outflow for environmental efforts.

“Urban and rural areas alike have been hit hard by his water policies since he took office,” water engineer Shane Alexander, who has worked on numerous water projects in California and with other Western states currently affected by the drought, told the Globe on Wednesday. “Other states are bad too, and it’s partly not anyone’s fault. We have climate change mixed with low precipitation. But some of California’s water policies that put very localized environmental efforts above that of urban use, agricultural use and even other environmental uses that are just as critical.”

“Some of my jobs have reminded me of the movie Chinatown when that one water worker is looking at all the freshwater being pumped out to sea during the night to hurt farms. Well those Water Wars, which were very real, are coming back in a way. We just don’t want to admit it.”

“The entire state now being under the emergency and the State Water Board getting more power yesterday is just the next chapter in this battle.”

Water reduction mandates by the State Water Resources Control Board are expected to be announced soon, with further action by the state also likely if drought condition continue into next year.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Evan Symon
Spread the news:


13 thoughts on “Governor Newsom Expands Drought State of Emergency To Entire State

  1. Here we go… he’s ratcheting up the infrastructural deficiencies that are WHOLLY under his control…

    This man is a megalomaniac… we’ve been “Dominioned” (again)…

    1. His CCP funders need to replenish their assets now that their financial system has experienced a major failure… time to buy up fallow California farmland, in 3…2…1…..

  2. I remember when I was back at Cal, in the late 70’s, and there was a water “emergency”. Wonder how may large-scale water impoundments were built since then. Groundwater recharge basins (i.e. we let an area get flooded and don’t ‘do anything about it) don’t count.

  3. This is the right move by our excellent governor. But he should go further. Mandatory rationing needs to be implemented for every household. CA is bone dry and another dry winter is expected. The gov needs to give an executive order mandating that all residents must start rationing water. There should also be serious consequences for violators.

      1. I’m quite serious. We are in a dire situation when it comes to water shortage. Sorry you don’t have the ability to see it.

        1. Yeah we are in a serious water shortage. A man made water shortage by your DEMOCRATIC PARTY state water policies. Try going back a few recent months to the archives of the California Globe and read the articles about the water shortage and get EDUCATED!

    1. You go first and while you’re at it – ask your Governor why the State Water Management resources people are DRAINING the reservoirs to save fish of little to no value to the state ???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *