Governor Brown defends the water use for agriculture sector
California Governor Jerry Brown has defended the use of water for agriculture sector amid restrictions imposed on usage of water on all other purposes across the state. A recent order has made it mandatory for the state utilities to reduce the water consumption by 25 percent this year due to continuing drought. Earlier, the state had issued a voluntary water use reduction appeal to reduce consumption by 20 percent for year 2014.
During an interview on ABC’s This Week, Governor Brown said, “Some people have a right to more water than others. That’s historic. That’s built into the legal framework of California. And yes, if things continue at this level, that’s probably going to be examined.”
Last week, the agriculture sector was exempted from the water use reduction by 25 percent. The agriculture sector accounts of 80 percent of water usage in California. Last year, farmers across the state left 400,000 acres of land without cultivation due to drought. Currently, about 9 million acres of farmland in California is irrigated.
Governor Brown said, “If you don’t want to produce any food and import it from some other place, of course you could do that. But that would displace hundreds of thousands of people and I don’t think it’s needed.”
Due to drought, California will be using more of fossil fuels for power generation this year. Brown said that the executive order should work as a wakeup call for Californians to do their bit for saving water, after the last year’s voluntary measures to save 20 percent water failed.
Earlier, Governor Brown had said that the state has seen this is a rare situation as the state faces continuing drought and emergency measures are required to deal with it.
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