Gov. Newsom Takes More Action to Address Water Scarcity and Deepening Drought

EDF Statement from Ann Hayden, Associate VP, Climate Resilient Water Systems

March 28, 2022
Ronna Kelly, (415) 293-6161,

(SACRAMENTO, CA – March 28, 2022) As a record-setting drought drags on in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order today that took several steps to drive local water conservation. Newsom called on the State Water Resources Control Board to ban businesses from watering decorative grass and to require urban water agencies to prepare for a shortage of up to 20%. In addition, Newsom’s order expedites community access to emergency drinking water supplies, permitting for groundwater recharge projects and approvals for actions to protect fish and wildlife threatened by drought.

“We applaud Gov. Newsom for taking a multipronged approach to building resilience in our water systems. There is no single silver bullet solution to adapting to the more extreme swings in weather that climate change is causing and we need all hands on deck — city residents and urban water agencies, farmers and rural communities, conservationists — to do all we can to prepare for the likelihood of drought persisting for another year or more.  

Expediting groundwater recharge projects is one important way to ensure we are better able to seize opportunities to store excess water during winter storms like the atmospheric rivers in October and December. Despite those events, it has still been a very dry winter, which makes it increasingly obvious that there simply isn’t enough water to go around. Consequently, we must remain laser-focused on meeting the needs of people and nature through a wide variety of strategies, including groundwater recharge, strategic farmland repurposing, water conservation and reuse.”

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