PHILLIPS, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown ordered mandatory water restrictions for the first time in California history on Wednesday, saying that the state’s drought had reached near-crisis proportions after a winter that brought record-low snowfalls.
Governor Brown, in an executive order, directed the State Water Resources Control Board to work with local agencies to come up with ways to reduce water use by 25 percent and to enforce what he described as an onerous reduction in use. State officials said the order would impose cutbacks on water use across the board — including homeowners, farmers, cemeteries and golf courses.
State officials said they were prepared to enforce punitive measures — including fines — to assure compliance with the new standards, but said they were hopeful this would not be necessary.
Governor Brown made the announcement while attending the annual April 1 measuring of the snowpack here in the Sierras, a critical source of water through the summer.