Gov. Jerry Brown today issued an executive order for statewide mandatory water use reductions, the first-ever order in California's history, according to the governor's office.
With a record-low snowpack amid the state's drought, Brown today directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory 25 percent reductions in water usage by California cities and towns through February 2016.
The executive order also calls on the water board to direct local water agencies to adjust their rate structures to implement conservation pricing.
The order requires school campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use, and will create a statewide initiative partnering with local agencies to replace lawns with drought-tolerant landscapes, according to the governor's office.
A rebate program will also be set up to provide incentives for the replacement of inefficient household devices.
The governor announced the executive order this morning at a manual snowpack survey conducted 90 miles east of Sacramento.
Electronic readings have shown the Sierra Nevada's snowpack's water content is lower than any year on record, just 8 percent of the historical average as of late March, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," Brown said in a statement.
"Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible," the governor said.
Click here to download the full text of the executive order (PDF - may take a minute or more to download).