On Wednesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced a historic statewide effort to restrict water use amid new measurements showing the state’s snowpack at stunning record lows. Unfortunately, the new rules mostly ignore the state’s biggest water user: the agriculture industry.
“We are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow,” said Brown, who traveled to an official snowpack monitoring station near Lake Tahoe to make the announcement.
Brown’s new executive order cracks down primarily on urban water usage, mandating a 25 percent reduction by February 2016 from the amount used in 2013. The new rules focus on lawns and golf courses, which use about half of urban water in California, and set a target to replace 50 million square feet of lawns with native landscaping within the next year.