Responding to lowest snowpack ever recorded, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered today that cities and towns across California implement mandatory restrictions to reduce water use by 25 percent.

“Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow,” Brown said. “This historic drought demands unprecedented action. Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible.”

Brown issued his order at Phillips Station, about 90 miles east of Sacramento, where state workers conducted a manual snow survey as part of statewide readings that revealed that the water content of the Sierra Nevada snowpack was only about 5% of the average for April 1. That is the lowest for the date in records going back to 1950.govbrown

Local water agencies were also ordered to implement “conservation pricing,” aimed at penalizing customers who overuse water.