Mixer: Dry land and deaf ears

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friday mixer bannerWe’re well into the fourth year of a severe drought in California.

And this week, Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders from both parties announced more than a billion dollars in emergency aid that’s being introduced as legislation in Sacramento.

But at a press conference, the governor also faced question after question over whether the State Water Resources Control Board’s new conservation actions are enough.

John Myers is Senior Editor of the California Politics and Government Desk at KQED in San Francisco, and Joe Mathews is California Columnist for Zocalo Public Square. Both joined us for the Mixer.

Brown says the state government is doing all it can, given its own restrictions. And he says he’s aware of how big a problem it is.

“We’re going to do more, ” he said on Thursday. “Don’t worry. If this drought continues, we’ll crank it down and it will get extremely challenging.”

Brown continues to hint that he’s open to harsher restrictions. Something he’ll have to consider if what an op-ed from this week’s Los Angeles Times is true.

According to JPL water scientist Jay Famiglietti, there’s about a year’s worth of water left in the state. He and others have since backed down from those comments.

The board limited outdoor residential watering to twice a week – a requirement already in place in some parts of the state. The legislation would pay for water recycling, desalination, water quality and flood protection projects.

The governor acknowledged the state has only spent about half of last year’s emergency drought funding. This year’s proposal has little new money; most of it comes from bonds that voters already approved.