State officials launch new advertising campaign for water conservation

Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has launched a new advertising campaign stressing water conservation

When it comes to conserving water, Gov. Jerry Brown needs Californians' help.

His administration has launched a new advertising campaign to drive the message home, with billboards, radio messages and posts on social media.

The campaign is scheduled to run until the end of June.

“Many Californians have taken steps to reduce their water use but we must do more," said a statement from Mark Cowin, director of the state Department of Water Resources. 

Brown issued an executive order on Wednesday requiring a 25% cut in water use. He took the unprecedented step after more than a year of voluntary targets that Californians failed to reach.  

It appears that residents are increasingly aware of the drought's toll.

A March survey from the Public Policy Institute of California showed that water issues have become as important in voters’ minds as jobs and the economy. Two-thirds of respondents said water supply is a big problem in their area of the state and more should be done to respond to the drought.

“It’s been frustrating that it’s taken this long to get on the public’s radar,” said Anne Notthoff, director of California advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “But now people are starting to see this is not business as usual.”

Follow @chrismegerian for more updates from Sacramento.

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