Gov. Brown Urges Conservation as California Drought Reaches Unprecedented Levels

The meeting comes just a day after water officials warned that 17 communities in the state are set to run dry in as little as three months.

By Samia Khan
|  Thursday, Jan 30, 2014  |  Updated 11:23 AM PDT
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Gov. Brown Urges Water Conservation

NOAA

The drought in California as seen from space. The lack of snow at Lake Tahoe and in the Sierras is pronounced.

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Gov. Jerry Brown is hoping for rain, but he isn't depending on it.

At a meeting in Los Angeles Thursday, Brown met with Southern California water officials to discuss what's on the horizon as California faces one of the worst droughts he has ever seen.

“We’re all going to have to think very carefully about efficiency in conservation," Brown said. “At the end of the day, we need water. We’re going to have to get water and the first source is to not waste it.”

READ: 17 Calif. Communities Set to Go Dry

Brown said he discussed the drought with President Barack Obama by phone on Wednesday, and that California would receive federal help.

“He pledged his support to help California,” Brown said. “We’re working in the short term to get funding from the president."

Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, said the current drought is unprecedented in his time on the board.

"We are watching this rapidly evolving drought situation with a lot concern for water supply throughout the Southland and throughout the entire state," Kightlinger said.

Calif. Governor Declares Drought Emergency

At a meeting next month, the agency will look for ways to encourage conservation, including offering more rebate programs for consumers.

"We are confident that people will respond," Kightlinger said. "We want to support them in this response."

The meeting came just a day after water officials warned that 17 communities in the state are set to run dry in as little as three months.

Brown will continue to spread his conservation message at today’s meeting and urge Californians to conserve water, according to a press release. Earlier this month, he suggested Californians reduce their water usage by 20 percent.

READ: Water Conservation Tips: How to Reduce Usage During Drought Emergency

Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency earlier this month and said that it is "perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen" since record keeping began in 1970.

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