As California descends deeper into drought, officials are growing increasingly troubled by dwindling water supplies and the public’s lackluster response to calls for conservation, with residents in recent months falling short of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request for a voluntary 15% reduction in usage.
Now, as the West tips toward crisis, state water regulators are considering adopting emergency regulations that will prohibit certain actions in an attempt to curtail water waste and help conserve supplies.
If approved, the proposal could usher in a wave of water regulations that hearken back to previous droughts while underscoring the seriousness of the current one.
On Tuesday, Lake Mead — the nation’s largest reservoir and a lifeline for water in Los Angeles and the West — was at 1,065 feet, or about 34% of its capacity, a near-historic low. Much of California on the U.S. Drought Monitor map was painted in worrisome shades of red.
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