Almost 60 percent of the state is facing exceptional drought.

California is drying up.

“This is a big deal,” California Governor Jerry Brown said at a ceremony Tuesday as he signed into law a trio of bills regulating, for the first time, the state’s groundwater use. As of Thursday, almost 60 percent of the state is facing “exceptional drought,” the most severe level of dryness measured by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

But if you’re not living in a community dependent on bottled water rations, farming land that’s projected to lose $800 million in crop revenue or watching raging wildfires ravage your drought-parched town, the historic California drought may still feel like little more than a headline.

To fully grasp how desperate California is for relief, we’ve created six before-and-after GIFs that will show you how badly the drought has dehydrated the state in just the last three years.


The Green Bridge passes over full water levels near Bidwell Marina on July 20, 2011, in Oroville, California, and much lower levels on Aug. 19, 2014. Credit: Getty Images


The Green Bridge passes over full water levels near Bidwell Marina on July 20, 2011, in Oroville, California, and much lower levels on Aug. 19, 2014. Credit: Getty Images


Full water levels are visible in the Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville on July 20, 2011, in Oroville, California, followed by current drought levels on Aug. 19, 2014. Credit: Getty Images


Full water levels are visible behind the Folsom Dam at Folsom Lake on July 20, 2011, in El Folsom, California, followed by current drought levels on Aug. 19, 2014. Credit: Getty Images


Full water levels are visible in the Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville on July 20, 2011, in Oroville, California, followed by current drought levels on Aug. 19, 2014.


The Green Bridge passes over full water levels at a section of Lake Oroville near the Bidwell Marina on July 20, 2011, in Oroville, California, followed by current drought levels on Aug. 19, 2014.

 

This article was originally produced by Lydia O'Connor and Chris McGonigal from the Huffington Post.

State Water Board Approves Emergency Regulation to Increase Water Conservation

Due to the severe continuing drought in California, on July 15, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board approved emergency regulations to ensure water agencies and their customers conserve outdoor water use or face possible fines.

 Almost 60% of water use is for outdoor landscaping, mostly turf.  Californians will be expected to  stop washing down driveways and sidewalks; watering of outdoor landscapes that cause excess; using a hose to wash a motor vehicle, unless the hose is fitting with using a shut off nozzle and using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature unless water is circulated.

Local agencies can ask courts to impose fines of up to $500 for failure to adhere to these water restrictions. 

 This emergency regulation will be in place for 270 days.  The State Water Board will revisit this regulation and may enhance the restrictions as the drought continues.

 One way of reducing your outdoor water is to remove turf.  Many water districts are offering rebates to homeowners – as much as $3.00 a square foot – to remove the turf from your property in favor of California friendly plants.  Contact your local water agency for information on turf removal rebates or go to SoCal Water Smart.  LA County is offering free mulch at 11 different locations across the county.  For more information, go to Be Waterwise.    You will save money and our precious water.