In an executive order directed at the CA State Water Resources Control Board, Governor Jerry Brown ordered a mandatory water use reduction for the first time in California’s history. The order, declared on April 1st, authorizes the State Board to impose a 25% reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies, which serve 90% of California residents. Now a month into the order, Governor Brown is calling for more restrictions and more accountability by proposing $10,000 fines for residents and businesses that waste the most water.
The mandatory – 25% – reduction comes more than a year after Brown asked for a 20% voluntary cut in water use, which most parts of the state have failed to attain. Now in the fourth year of one of the most severe droughts in state history, freshwater supplies are running dangerously low. It’s a different world,” Governor Brown said to reporters during his announcement. “We have to act differently.”
The recent recommendation to impose fines was part of a legislative proposal aimed at targeting the worst offenders (residents and businesses) contributing to continued water waste as cities try to meet mandatory conservation targets. The newest proposal also contained preliminary regulations for dividing up the state’s 411 urban water suppliers into nine conservation tiers. Brown is also directing state agencies to hasten the review process for water recycling and desalination projects that will increase local water supplies.
In the hopes of curtailing water use during the summer months, water restriction regulations will be finalized on May 5th during the State Water Board meeting and go into effect immediately. “If we don’t get the reduction in the summer, we’re not going to make the overall target”, says Max Gomberg, a senior staff scientist at the State Water Board. With drought conditions expected to last as long as a decade, missing the newest conservation goals will make life even more difficult for planners and residents alike.
After meeting with a select group of mayors from across the State, Brown said: “We’ve done a lot. We have a long way to go. So maybe you want to think of this as just another installment on a long enterprise to live with a changing climate and with a drought of uncertain duration.” 
 Walton, Circle of Blue, “California Water Restrictions Still Target Lawns.” http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/world/california-water-restrictions-still-target-lawns/
 Pedroncelli, CBS News, “California governor calls for water restrictions.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-governor-calls-for-water-restrictions/
 Nirappil & Williams, Washington Post, ”Drought: California governor seeks fine for water wasters.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/california-water-reduction-plan-mostly-unchanged-before-vote/2015/04/28/e739d368-ee0f-11e4-8050-839e9234b303_story.html