Perhaps take this article with a grain of salt, because its author is running against Newsome for governor. Still, the gist of it appears to be right. From Michael Shellenberger at michaelshellenberger.substack.com:
California Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday claimed he was taking major action to address the drought affecting California and the West. More than 90% of California is in severe drought, up from 65% just one year ago. He said heW had created an agreement that was a win-win-win for residents, farmers, and conservationists.
In truth, Newsom is starving California of both water and energy. We are in the worst energy crisis in 50 years and yet Newsom is planning to shut down the largest single source of energy in California, Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Meanwhile, he has failed to build a single new large water project, despite the fact that California voters in 2014 passed a $2.7 billion water bond to pay for them.
Can’t water conservation save us? It can’t. Newsom declared a drought emergency last year and urged residents to reduce our water use by 15%. We only did so by 6%. It’s true that mandatory restrictions between June 2015 and April 2016 reduced water use by 25%. But the state was ultimately rescued in 2017 by large atmospheric river storms, not conservation.