Governor Gavin Newsom visited the Central Coast on Thursday to discuss drought conditions and sign some drought-related orders.
Lopez Lake is at 34% capacity while Lake Nacimiento is sitting at 20% and Santa Margarita is at 64%.
According to Governor Newsom, one factor is climate change.
“The hots are getting a lot hotter. The dries are getting a lot dryer,” Governor Newsom said.
“In the past week, temperatures as high as 17 degrees above average have exacerbated drought conditions across the entire American West,” said Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Secretary.
In April, the first proclamation of a state of emergency was declared related to this year’s drought followed by another one in May.
On Thursday, nine additional counties were added to another state of emergency including San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.
“Total now 50 of our 58 counties officially are now in an order,” Governor Newsom said. “To move more effectively and efficiently to address conditions as they take shape in real time.”
In addition, an executive order was signed on Thursday to encourage a 15% voluntary water reduction throughout the state from residences to agricultural operations.
“Taking an opportunity to update the efficiency of your shower heads, as an example,” Governor Newsom said.
During the last drought, there were mandatory water conservation efforts.
“Interestingly, per capita, we reduced water consumption by roughly 21% in this state between 2013 and 2016,” Governor Newsom said.
Currently, residential water use in California is 16% below where we were in 2013. Meanwhile, there’s a $5.1 billion budget specific to the drought in the state.
“We will need to proceed with the lessons learned from the last drought but with the benefits of those lessons now and the resources that we have not been afforded in the past,” Governor Newsom said.
During the next San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors' meeting, they’re set to discuss drought conditions as well.
The executive order also has a monthly data report that must come out from the state water board including data of industrial, residential and agricultural use.
For more information on ideas on how to save water, click here.