More than 700 electronic highway signs operated by Caltrans are lit up with the message “Serious Drought – Help Save Water.”
Caltrans put up the conservation message, with the blessing of the Office of Traffic Safety, in response to Governor Brown’s official drought declaration. Unless an Amber Alert or traffic emergency necessitates a different message, the drought signs will stay illuminated through Wednesday night, and then sporadically, according to Caltrans.
Caltrans is doing more than offering advice. The agency’s director, Malcolm Dougherty, sent a letter to all employees last week implementing water-saving measures.
“We started our efforts last week by reducing our irrigation activities by 50 percent statewide,” said Caltrans spokeswoman Tamie McGoween. “And even close to 100 percent in some of those more severely hit areas.”
Caltrans is also postponing many planting and landscaping projects during the drought, expanding the use of smart watering technologies that shut down automatically in the rain, and using recycled water where possible.
Employees have also been directed to stop washing state vehicles except in cases where not washing would create a safety hazard.