Newsom asks Californians to voluntarily cut water use amid drought

Newsom is asking Californians to cut their water use by 15%.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom
Getty Images

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom asked Californians on Thursday to voluntarily cut down on water usage by 15% amid a drought that has parched a large part of the Western United States.

"We're hopeful that people will take that mindset they brought into the last drought and extend that forward with a 15% voluntary reduction, not only on residences but industrial commercial operations and agricultural operations," Newsom told reporters Thursday, according to NBC News.

Newsom added nine counties to an emergency drought proclamation, which covers 50 of the state's 58 counties and 42% of the state's population. Large cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are not included in the governor's emergency proclamation.

The state of emergency gives the California Water Resources Control Board, the agency which oversees the state’s water supply, the authority to reduce the right to divert water from rivers during a shortage.

Newsom's suggestion of cutting back is voluntary. The governor advises residents to water their lawns less frequently, take shorter showers, and run washing machines and dishwashers only when they are fully loaded.