SAN FRANCISCO — California’s drought conditions might normally prompt calls for shorter showers and shutting off sprinklers.
But Californians are in no mood to hear it after a year of pandemic deprivation. Especially from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is facing an almost certain recall election after imposing multiple rounds of business closures and constantly telling residents to stay home.
“The governor’s in a very tricky situation,” said Darry Sragow, a longtime California Democratic strategist. While Newsom may be considering drought controls, “I’m sure he’s hearing voices telling him that Californians can only tolerate so much pain and suffering.”
A disappointing winter has left California’s water supplies at half of average levels. Fights over water are perpetual in California, waxing and waning alongside supplies, and memories are fresh of the worst drought in California’s recorded history that stretched from 2012-16. The development of a new drought promises to reinflame tensions between farmers, cities and environmentalists, with Newsom caught in the middle.