Gov. Brown Meets with State’s Major Water Stakeholders

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Gov. Jerry Brown says he will try to collaborate with major water interests to come up with policies to get the state through the drought emergency.

His comments came after a meeting with major water stakeholders from throughout the state, including large urban water agencies, Central Valley growers and conservationists.

Last week the governor ordered mandatory water usage cuts of 25 percent after voluntary 20 percent reductions failed to materialize.  But he said now is not the time for blaming any one sector of water users.

"The challenge here, aside from getting the water, is to be able to collaborate together and not try to blame other people and point fingers," Brown said.

Brown's new drought rules set the stage for local water agencies to use increased rates to force water wasters to cut back.

John Woodling, of the Sacramento Area Water Agency, said local water users used 20 percent less water, much lower than the state average.  But the specter of increased rates still hangs over their heads.

" The more that the customers can step up and reduce their water use at home, the less the agencies have to take action," Woodling said.

Brown said the spirit of collaboration must be used as he and the legislature come up with policies that are fair and effective.

"It's easy to talk and pop off, it's more difficult to speak wisely and thoughtfully, but that's what we need to do to get work together," Brown said.