California Governor Jerry Brown visited San Diego Tuesday to meet with local water officials, city and county leaders to talk about the statewide drought.
"There's nothing more important in California than water and making it available and using it wisely," Brown said at a news conference with reporters.
Brown commended San Diegans for cutting their water use in compliance with the 25 percent cut required but said the region has to keep up with whatever conservation goals and investments are required going forward.
"We have to stay vigilant and we have to be prepared to make the investments needed so that we have the water when we need it and we protect ourselves from forest fires or other fires that are connected to the drought," Brown said, referencing California's nearly year-round wildfire season.
Brown met for an hour and a half with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and spoke with representatives from the Water Authority at City Hall downtown.
Brown said though water rates are rising even amid San Diegans meeting their conservation goals, it is important for residents to continue to conserve.
"It's really important that we conserve and that we create additional water supply," Brown said. "When I say conserve, that also includes wise, efficient use of the water we have."
He said it would take the state a long time expand its system of reservoirs and delivery facilities, as well as bring more desalinization plants and recycling technology on line.
"The state will be helping us out to pay for some of our conservation programs, recycling programs, potable re-use programs," said Maureen Stapleton, the general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority. "We're looking forward to working with the state to get our share of the funds."
Brown visited San Diego in October to urge voters to pass two ballot measures to help state officials cope with the drought.
Tuesday’s visit is the first since the governor mandated unprecedented water reductions across the state on April 1.