California is experiencing yet another multi-year drought that some critics say has been exacerbated by unnecessary government regulations that have resulted in otherwise avoidable water shortages.
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), paying no mind to the critics, has now declared an emergency statewide and — in addition to calling upon Californians to voluntarily limit their water usage — has granted various state agencies even more control over the state’s water resources, The Epoch Times reports.
That action comes as Newsom blamed climate change for the drought conditions that have historically plagued the state and follows recent reports indicating that August was the driest month ever recorded in the state.
The report also said that the prior 12 months ending this past September was the second-driest year on record.
Newsom asserts control
“As the western U.S. faces a potential third year of drought, it’s critical that Californians across the state redouble our efforts to save water in every way possible,” Newsom said in a Tuesday press release. “With historic investments and urgent action, the state is moving to protect our communities, businesses and ecosystems from the immediate impacts of the drought emergency while building long-term water resilience to help the state meet the challenge of climate change impacts making droughts more common and more severe.”
The governor’s statement came in conjunction with a proclamation that added eight counties to a previously declared drought state of emergency, effectively comprising the entirety of the state.
Newsom also moved to waive a number of regulations intended to check bureaucratic power and granted increased authority to limit the usage of the state’s water to a number of different government agencies, most notably the State Water Resources Control Board.
The proclamation also piggybacked off an executive order issued in July that called upon California’s residents to reduce their water usage by 15% over the previous year, and even provided a number of suggestions related to limiting yard irrigation, the use of dishwashers and laundry machines, and taking shorter and more infrequent showers, among other things.
GOP congressman blames the state
To be sure, droughts are a natural phenomenon that can’t be controlled by humans, but with foresight and planning, they can be mitigated. At least, that was the message put forward by Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) and several of his GOP congressional colleagues from California in June, when they introduced legislation intended to address the impact of water shortages in the state’s Central Valley.
That legislation — titled the Necessary to Ensure Expeditious Delivery of Water Act, or NEED Water Act — would reduce burdensome state and federal regulations limiting or redirecting the use of water resources and make it easier for certain areas to protect their own resources.
“Burdensome regulations continue to prevent communities in my district from getting the water they desperately need. The reservoirs are currently extremely low because of disastrous policies that force us to waste water during wet years,” Valadao said in a statement at that time. “The severity of the effects of this drought could have been lessened by commonsense actions during years with more rain. The lack of rain this year is exacerbating the ongoing drought, and my constituents are in desperate need of immediate relief.”
Newsom, for his part, doesn’t seem to be hearing any of these concerns.