Building Owners and Managers Association

Improving the Performance of the Commercial Real Estate Industry
Mandatory 25% Water Reductions for California
Monday, April 13, 2015
by: Robin Jochims

Section: Association Business

Let’s start from the top, as reported two weeks ago, California Governor Jerry Brown announced an Executive Order mandating statewide water restrictions to reduce water usage by 25% over the next nine-months.

Many members have done an excellent job reducing water usage over the past five years and have set the pace in terms of innovating with gray water and drought tolerant urban landscaping. This has been acknowledged and appreciated; however, the Governor is asking urban water users to do more and in the immediate.

In addition to saving water; however, we continue to point out California’s water system is in great need of improvements. Our population is expected to grow by more than 600,000 people each year, mushrooming the population to as many as 48 million by 2020. Department of Water Resources projections show this growth could increase annual water demands by 6 million acre feet by 2030; and recent studies predict 25% of the snowpack, which is our largest water storage system, will be lost by 2050. This last prediction seemed far-fetched several years ago; however, the visual of the Governor standing in a meadow with a long pole and no snow has shown the realness of the concern.

To accommodate for growth as well as anticipated hydrological changes, California must be prepared to manage our water in a comprehensive, efficient manner. There are many impediments to doing so, including a tangible shortage of facilities, lack of effective conveyance and problems with the Delta.

Governor’s Synopsis of Mandatory Water Reductions

California Executive Order B-29-15

These actions follow the enactment of a $1 billion water package signed last week for local drought relief and infrastructure projects to make the state’s water infrastructure more resilient.

Water shortfall is evident; disaster is eminent, unless we act to help our state navigate its way out of this crisis.

Additional Information

State Water Resource Control Board – Emergency Regulations Website
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