Brown, mayors to talk drought in Sacramento

Gov. Jerry Brown will meet with city mayors Tuesday to discuss the drought and other issues in Sacramento.

A statement from the governor’s office made clear drought would be the main order of business.

 “In recent weeks, Governor Brown has convened top agricultural, environmental, urban water agency and business leaders from across California to discuss the state’s drought response and conservation efforts,” the statement read.

The meeting schedule and listening tour is similar to Brown’s moves after other major state action. In the months after the passage of his Local Control Funding Formula for schools and public safety realignment, Brown toured the state meeting with local public safety and education leaders to discuss the issues.

Now, the drought is Brown’s main policy and political focus.

“Earlier this month, Brown announced the first ever 25 percent statewide mandatory water reductions and a series of actions to help save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state's drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient,” his office said. “This order included measures to help: replace lawns with drought tolerant landscaping and old appliances with more water and energy efficient models; cut water use at campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes; prevent potable water irrigation at new developments unless water-efficient drip systems are used; and stop watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.”

But enforcement of those orders was thrown into doubt when a state appeals court found local tiered water rate systems were not permitted under the state constitution.

Brown proclaimed a drought state of emergency in January 2014.