Newsom Considers Ban on Watering ‘Non-Functional Grass' to Help With Drought

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The Bay Area got a good soaking overnight and Monday morning, but it's a drop in the bucket when it comes to digging California out of the drought.

The rainfall was enough to water lawns and plants, but in the big picture, Valley Water said the South Bay reservoirs remained unchanged from last week -- all still averaging a disappointing 25% of capacity.

“Here we are in the third year of the drought,” said Matt Keller of Valley Water. “So it’s serious and people need to make changes.”  

In June, the Valley Water board called for a 15% reduction in water use. But it appears, so far, people aren’t getting the message. 

Residents have met that call in only two out of the 10 months since. 

“I hear a lot about it on the news and it's going to take a long time for us to recover from the drought,” said fisherman Anthony Dumlao. 

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he is considering a ban on watering “non-functional grass” at businesses and institutions following what he calls “the driest three months in California's recorded history.”

He is also calling on local water agencies to go to what’s called Level 2 measures - meaning up to 20% conservation.

On the bright side, local water agencies say the overnight rain did help in one aspect.

“The biggest impact is people turning off their irrigation,” said Keller. “So the fact that people don’t have to water their lawns or their plants, that’s good news for us, for conservation.” 

But as temperature and fire risk rise, experts say the outlook simply isn’t good. 

Valley Water said with the wet months behind us, we may have seen the end of any significant rainfall this season.

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