‘We need to make tough decisions’: Millions face water restrictions in California

Local officials in San Francisco, California, have declared a water shortage ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to reports, millions of residents are being asked to cut back on their water usage.

“Meet the call”

Democratic Mayor London Breed announced the decision in a statement on Tuesday.

The city’s reservoir is currently at 73% capacity, which is about seven points lower than where it should be at this time of year. About one-third of the water in the reservoir cannot be used.

Breed sought to blame the shortage on dry conditions across the state over the past two years.

“With California still experiencing devastating drought and the uncertainty around this rainy season, we need to make tough decisions that will ensure that our water source continues to be reliable and dependable for the future,” she said.

The mayor went on to laud her city’s efforts to “conserve our most precious resource,” expressing confidence that it “will once again meet the call to reduce water use.”

“We lose those jobs”

The average San Francisco resident uses about 42 gallons of water per day, which is among the state’s lowest rates. Now, it must be even less.

Breed referenced the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which unanimously approved a plan to address the water shortage.

The mayor and commission are jointly calling for a 10% reduction in water usage for most purposes. They are also urging other counties reliant on San Francisco for water supply to cut back on their usage by about 14%.

Furthermore, locals face a drought surcharge for retail water and wastewater. That surcharge is expected to be roughly 5% and is set to go into effect in April.

Even as she addresses the water shortage, the mayor is also dealing with a recent spike in retail theft. In a statement this week, she promised action, declaring: “What happens when people vandalize and commit those level of crimes in San Francisco. We not only lose those businesses, we lose those jobs. We lose that tax revenue that helps to support our economy that helps to support many of the social service programs that we have in the city in the first place. We can’t allow that to happen.”

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