California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday mandating a 25 percent cut in statewide water use, the first mandatory water restrictions in state history.
Brown issued the order from a brown, patchy perch in the Sierra Nevada mountains usually covered with snow at this time of year.
“Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow,” Brown said in a statement. “This historic drought demands unprecedented action. Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water restrictions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible.”
This week, water content in the Sierra Nevada snowpack dipped to its lowest level in history, at just eight percent of average for this time of year. By April 1, the water level was at five percent.
“It’s a different world,” Brown said in issuing the order. “We have to act differently.”