Governor Newsom Declares Drought State of Emergency

Posted By on October 20, 2021

On October 19, 2021, Governor Newsom issued a State of Emergency proclamation effectively expanding the drought emergency statewide. The proclamation follows the Governor’s July 2021 executive order, which called upon California residents to reduce water use by 15 percent.

The emergency proclamation enables the State Water Resources Control Board to ban wasteful water practices, including the use of potable water for washing sidewalks and driveways.  Among the uses deemed wasteful are:

  1. The use of potable water for washing sidewalks, driveways, buildings, structures, patios, parking lots, or other hard­ surfaced areas, except in cases where health and safety are at risk.
  2. The use of potable water that results in flooding or runoff in gutters or streets.
  3. The use of potable water, except with the use of a positive shut-off nozzle, for the individual private washing of motor vehicles.
  4. The use of water to irrigate turf and ornamental landscapes during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall of at least one-fourth of one inch of rain.
  5. The use of potable water for irrigation of ornamental turf on public street medians.
  6. The use of potable water for street cleaning or construction purposes, unless no other source of water or other method can be used or if necessary, to protect the health and safety of the public.
  7. The use of potable water for decorative fountains or the filling or topping off of decorative lakes or ponds, with exceptions for those decorative fountains, lakes, or ponds that utilize recycled water.