California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he may impose mandatory water restrictions if people don't start using less as a drought drags on.
He raised the possibility Monday in a meeting with local water agencies that supply major urban centers like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“Californians made significant changes since the last drought but we have seen an uptick in water use, especially as we enter the summer months," Newsom said. "We all have to be more thoughtful about how to make every drop count.”
The Democratic governor has called for a 15% voluntary reduction in water use but has so far avoided mandatory, sweeping cuts to water use.
He's urging the local water agencies to ramp up their conservation messaging to avoid the need for mandatory restrictions.
Newsom says there are several things that people can do to save water immediately:
- Limit outdoor watering
- Take shorter showers
- Take showers instead of baths. The state says a bath uses up to 2.5 times the amount of water as a shower.