Brown ordered the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water restrictions to reduce water usage by 25%, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The action came as the governor and other state officials took stock of historically abysmal levels of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada amid the state's grinding drought.
Brown's plan would also:
- Require golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscaped spaces to reduce water consumption.
- Replace 50 million square feet of lawn statewide with drought-tolerant landscaping as part of a partnership with local governments.
- Create statewide rebate program to replace old appliances with more water- and energy-efficient ones.
- Requires new homes to have water-efficient drip irrigation if developers want to use potable water for irrigation.
- Bans watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.
- Calls on water agencies to implement new pricing models that discourage excessive water use.
The San Diego County Water Authority issued mandatory water use restrictions last July, including watering only at certain dates and times, fixing leaks within 72 hours and eliminating runoff from irrigation systems.
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said Wednesday she stands behind Brown's order that cities and towns across California implement mandatory restrictions to reduce water use by 25 percent.
"Our decimated snowpack shows that Gov. Brown is right to put these strong, mandatory steps in place,'' Atkins said. "Getting through this drought and future droughts to come will take a combination of immediate, short-range and long-term steps. The governor's order today is the right step at the right time.''