Amy Goodman

Gov. Jerry Brown Orders California's First Mandatory Water Restrictions, Exempts Thirstiest Big Growers

2015-04-02T03:02:46-07:00

"Democracy Now!" airs weekdays at 9 a.m. PT on KCET.

As California's record drought continues, Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered residents and non-agricultural businesses to cut water use by 25 percent in the first mandatory statewide reduction in the California's history. However, big agriculture, which uses about 80 percent of California's water, doesn't face restrictions under the new rules.

The group Food & Water Watch California has criticized Brown for not capping water usage by oil extraction industries and corporate farms, which grow water-intensive crops such as almonds and pistachios, most of which are exported out of state and overseas. Studies show the current drought, which has intensified over the past four years, is the worst California has seen in at least 120 years. Some suggest it is the region's worst drought in more than a thousand years. This comes after California witnessed the warmest winter on record.

"Democracy Now!" speaks with environmental reporter Mark Hertsgaard, author of the book, "Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth."



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