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California announces first ever mandatory statewide water restrictions

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'This historic drought demands unprecedented action'

David McNew/Getty Images

California's ongoing drought isn't letting up. As a result, Governor Edmund Brown announced today that California will enforce statewide water restrictions for the first time in the state's history. The actions are meant to reduce the state's water usage by 25 percent, the governor said in a statement.

"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow."

"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow," Governor Brown said. "Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state."

The state's Water Resources Control Board will implement mandatory restrictions across California. Under these restrictions, water suppliers will have to report water usage in their area on a monthly basis. The actions also include replacing 50 million square feet of lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping, according to ABC News. Watering grass located on public street medians will be banned, and businesses such as cemeteries, golf courses, and campuses will all have to make huge cuts in water use.

This is the latest in a series of water-saving measures for the state. In July, California declared a state of emergency, and launched a website aimed to help Californians adopt new water use practices. The Californian government also announced that it would hand out $500-a-day fines for wasting water.

The state has lost over 11 trillion gallons of water since the beginning of the drought. Moreover, the current snowpack is one of the lowest on record, and the worst it has been since 1977, when the state's population was half as big as it is now, according to Tom Painter, the principal investigator for NASA's Airborne Snow Observatory. "This historic drought demands unprecedented action," Governor Brown said. "As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."