Gov. Jerry Brown issued his second executive order last Friday regarding water conservation this year. Last April, the governor’s first order mandated a 25-percent reduction in water use throughout the state.
The Nov. 13 order authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to extend the water reductions through October 2016 if drought conditions persist through January 2016.
Current forecasts for the arrival of El Niño rains expect the frequency of storms to begin in late December or January and peak during the first quarter of 2016. This suggests that water conservations, possibly at a reduced level, will continue through 2016.
The order also directed the SWRCB and the regional water quality control boards to give priority to water-right permits, water-quality certification and waste-discharge requirements for projects that can use available high-water flows to recharge local groundwater while minimizing flood risks.
The governor also directed the SWRCB to use $5 million for water projects to help water systems serving fewer than 15 drinking-water connections or households.