Embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that the state could face mandatory water restrictions in six weeks — after the recall election is over.
Newsom made the remark during a visit to wildfire-ravaged Northern California with EPA Administrator Michael Regan.
The San Jose Mercury News reported:
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that he may put mandatory water restrictions in place in as soon as six weeks from now as the state’s historic drought continues to worsen.
Asked if he was going to require cities to meet mandatory water conservation targets, as former Gov. Jerry Brown did statewide during the last drought from 2012 to 2016, Newsom noted that he already called for 15% voluntary conservation, but that could change soon.
“At the moment, we’re doing voluntary,” the governor said. “But if we enter into another year of drought — and as you know our water season starts Oct. 1 — we will have likely more to say by the end of September as we enter potentially the third year of this current drought.”
One water expert was disappointed that Newsom had not moved more aggressively, with larger and mandatory restrictions:
“There has been a clear underestimate of the speed and intensity of this drought,” said [Pacific Institute president emeritus Peter] Gleick, who has written 11 books about water policy and climate. “There should have been calls months ago for expanded conservation and efficiency. There should have been calls for more aggressive and mandatory restrictions. This is a very severe drought, and we don’t know when it is going to end. If we are lucky it will end with the next rainy season. If it doesn’t we are going to be sorry we didn’t save more water sooner.”
Many observers blamed the timing of the recall election for Newsom’s reluctance to impose water restrictions on the state. Democrats made the recall election as early as possible, hoping to capitalize on a recovery in Newsom’s poll numbers in the spring.
However, a surge in coronavirus cases, the return of mask mandates, and a summer of wildfires have combined to make that decision a serious one, as polls have shown the electorate increasingly willing to remove Newsom from office.
In a recent report, Capital Public Radio found that Newsom misled the public about the extent of his wildfire preparation.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.