GOVERNOR BROWN DIRECTS FIRST EVER STATEWIDE MANDATORY WATER REDUCTIONS
Following the lowest snowpack ever recorded and with no end to the drought in sight, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced actions that will save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state’s drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.
As one of the State’s largest departments, responsible for landscaping that stretches the size of 22,600 football fields, Caltrans’ conservation efforts contribute significant water savings. Conservation efforts, including the following, have helped the department reduce water consumption by an estimated 30 percent:
- Invested $47 million in Caltrans emergency funding to upgrade or repair 1,250 irrigation systems statewide—approximately 25 percent of the state’s system—including smart sprinklers that cut water use at least 50 percent by automatically adjusting water usage based on weather conditions, soil moisture or broken pipes.
- Postponed 34 landscaping projects, which include 26 projects that would have gotten underway this year.
- Invested $8 million in four major water recycling projects in San Luis Obispo, Shasta and San Diego.
- Canceled any turf or grass watering, including all state rest stops, unless recycled water is used.
Caltrans has shut off irrigation entirely in areas of the state with the most severe drought conditions, and will continue to do so. Any essential landscaping to prevent water pollution or erosion uses only inert ground covers, such as mulch or gravel, or drought-tolerant native or non-thirsty plants.