California Drought: Emergency 25% Cut in California Cities’ Water Use Approved

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State data released Tuesday painted a stark portrait of the uphill struggle Californians face in achieving a mandated 25% reduction in urban water use, with one official joking grimly that dealing with severe drought was similar to grappling with the five stages of grief.

Cumulative water savings since last summer totaled only 8.6%, according to the State Water Resources Control Board, far short of the historic reduction outlined in an April 1 executive order by Gov. Jerry Brown.

At the same time, the board said, most of the state’s water suppliers issued 20 or fewer notices of water waste in March even though they have received thousands of complaints.

“It’s a collective issue we all need to rise to. I keep thinking that we are in some stages of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,” said Felicia Marcus, the water board chairwoman, referring to the psychiatrist who wrote “On Death and Dying.”

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