Gavin Newsom Calls on Californians to Cut Water Use by 15%, Expands Drought Emergency

Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded his drought emergency declaration Thursday and called on Californians to reduce water consumption by 15%.

In a pair of emergency orders issued during an appearance at parched Lopez Lake near San Luis Obispo, the governor added nine more counties to the list of those covered by his emergency declaration from two months ago. That makes the drought official in 50 of the state’s 58 counties — essentially, everywhere except San Francisco and urban Southern California.

The counties added to the list: San Luis Obispo, Inyo, Marin, Mono, Monterey, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz. Extending the emergency to a broader area makes it easier for the State Water Resources Control Board to cut off water rights to farmers who pull water from rivers and streams.