News


Brown declares drought emergency, urges conservation

UC's Napolitano says campuses will cut water use by 20%

Gov. Jerry Brown Friday proclaimed a drought state of emergency in what is expected to be the driest year on record in California.

Brown ordered state agencies to take actions to prepare for emergency conditions and called on Californians to reduce water consumption voluntarily by 20%.

"We have to recognize this is not a partisan adversary," Brown said at a news conference in his office at the State Building in San Francisco.

"This is Mother Nature. We have to live within the resources we have," the governor said.

Brown's proclamation says state water supplies have dipped to "alarming levels," with mountain snowpacks at 20 percent of normal for this time of year, reduced surface flow in rivers and significant drops in reservoir and groundwater levels.

The proclamation includes a series of executive orders requiring state agencies to aid affected farmers and communities by expediting water

transfers and releasing stored water from reservoirs.

State agencies were also ordered to develop water conservation plans. The Department of Forestry will hire additional seasonal firefighters,

Brown said.

Brown said he hopes to get federal aid to deal with the drought but said he did not know specifically what that aid might be.

Brown said he hopes the environmental analysis of his Delta Plan, which proposes two 35-mile tunnels to divert water to Central and Southern California, will speed up. Some conservationists and local officials have opposed the plan.

Brown said allocating water in California entails conflicts between northern and southern and urban and rural parts of the state, but said, "We all depend on one another."

California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said he welcomed the proclamation.

Wenger urged Brown to lead a campaign for increased water storage facilities to provide more flexibility in the face of volatile weather patterns.

"Conservation alone won't solve our chronic water supply problems. California must commit to improve its water system," Wenger said in a statement.

Outside the State Building, a group of about 25 members of several environmental groups chanted and carried signs urging Brown to end fracking

in California. Fracking, the hydraulic fracturing of underground rock to release oil, uses millions of gallons of water.

David Turnbull, campaigns director for Oil Change International, said, "To allow water-intensive fracking for oil to continue in a drought is to deny the reality of what California's farmers and communities are facing every day."

Across the Bay in Berkeley, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced that the university's goal of reducing per capita water use by 20% across the UC system by 2020.

Napolitano said the university's faculty, staff and students are stepping up to take on the challenge to preserve water.

The 2020 goal complements the university's Carbon Neutrality Initiative and other sustainability projects, according to Napolitano.

"These efforts are critical to addressing the formidable water, energy and climate challenges facing California, the nation and the world,"

Napolitano said in a statement.

The campaign will be discussed at the UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco next week as part of a presentation of the annual Report on

Sustainable Practices.

Julia Cheever and Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by IncreaseWaterUsage
a resident of Avila
on Jan 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

If lots of residents cut back their water usage, the rates will be increased so that you continue to pay the same, but for less water (this has happened before).

If there truely was a water shortage, those people who pressured Pleasanton to build 3000+ more apartments would have acted differently. That is a 10% increase in residents. Increase your water usage by 10%, the government already has agreed that we have adequate water to support this increase.

By the way, can anyone remember a time when the rainfall was MORE than average? Seems like we only hear of shortages each year. How does the math work that every year can be less than the average?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pololo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm

If we're on the same page and you also encourage conversation, lets talk!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by More water
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Jan 20, 2014 at 4:12 pm

I know, how can there possibly be a water shortage. The government is making this up so they can charge more for water. I bet Jerry Brown isn't decreasing his water use. Let's all just use more water. It rains a lot in Seattle.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by True Conservative
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm

There's no water shortage. Just like there isn't a pollution problem either. It's all an illusion so the government can tax us more than they already do. This is all about lining the pockets of the rich political class that consists of teachers, principles, and BART workers. I'm going to drink an extra tall glass of water tonight, just like I make a point of burning brush in my yard on no-burn days. Next their going to tell us that embers from dry burning wood (you know -- the drought, HA) is likely to start fires in human population zones. They never tell us, though, that fire science has determined the extreme unlikelihood of urban fires. Or that water science has determined that all human waste products in our sewage treatement centers can be converted into super safe drinking water. Moonbeam. What a joke!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by right wing nuts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm

TC just take a look at Folsom lake…DRY…Of course no one can change a tea partiers mind as long as there is water coming out your faucet… no shortage…. pollute the air… burn baby burn…. thank goodness your aren't in charge! A wise governor is in charge… lets keep Jerry in charge. Oh.. move to Seattle or Texas… no restrictions there..


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Leftists Always Buy Propaganda
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm

RWN...you leftists are always so unbelievably short sighted. If it's cold, a new ice age is upon us. If it's warm, it must be global warming and MUST be due to human activity. If you drive by a dry lake bed, it must be a drought. Now, it's obvious we're in a drought but what you should be questioning is anything the government is telling you about its severity. Our "wise" governor and his administration also told us that the state parks were out of money and many would have to be closed or taxes raised (yet again.) But then we found out that the funds had been hidden at it was all a lie. This is the "wise governor" you're so willing to blindly follow? As V.I. Lenin once said of your ilk...you're a "useful idiot"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by right wing nuts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm

LABP nice try on misleading statements of park funds, it was Brown who revealed the hidden funds. It went on for 12 years. But no right wing nut discovered it then… get the facts. and don't change the subject…. we are in a drought and Brown wisely declared an emergency. Would expect you know a lot about Lenin !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm

I thought that by building the high speed rail that it would fix our drought problem.

Brown though that the high speed rail was a higher priority than doing something about our water infrastructure and therefore asked for money for high speed rail first. We only have so much money and he obviously though rail was a higher priority.

It also does not make sense to keep issuing building permits when you do not have enough water for new residents. Building permits should not be issued when a state of emergency for a drought condition has been issued. You cannot keep adding people in the state and ignore the water issues.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Myself
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm

The government should not be approving new housing units, building high speed rails , or giving money to schools, or providing healthcare or Medicare for the elderly. All of those people and kids need water. If there is really a drought why would the government do any if these things, it makes no sense. There is no drought, it rained a lot in 2010 and there is rain in Seattle right now. Maybe they should spend their money transporting rainwater from Seattle before they give any more money for anything else. Idiots. I will be taking an extra long shower tonight.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Use borax and stir up a friendly lather. Not too many appreciate how you smell!

i rest my case...just sayin'


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