Tulare County will stop watering parks, lawns and planters while drought grips the region, Board of Supervisors Chairman Phil Cox said Tuesday.
"This county will lead the way when it comes to water conservation," Cox said in his delivery of the annual State of the County address. "Starting immediately, lawns and plants will receive minimal watering."
The directive applies to parks and grounds belonging to Tulare County.
The mandate is necessary for the greater good, he said.
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"We ask the public to bear with us as the lawns go brown," Cox said. "We will do our part to free up as much water for our farmers as possible and ask others to do the same."
But the county will continue to water trees, especially young ones, to keep them from dying, he said. The Bermuda grass lawns will grow green again when the drought ends, he said.
The drought is a foe to be opposed with the same intensity as America opposed its foes in World War II, he said.
"When the Nazis threatened the world, our father and grandfathers went to war, side by side, regardless of color, status or religion," he said.
Likewise, "the state of California is under attack," he said. "The enemy knows no color, status or religion. Our common enemy is the drought."
Cox urged the public to "fast and pray for rain" on Sunday, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to which he belongs, is asking church members statewide to do just that.
In a nod to popular culture, Cox said he recognized the conflict between self-sacrifice on behalf of drought relief and the inevitable Super Bowl parties: "You can fast in the morning," he said.
Cox's state of the county address touched on other topics:
"We now have a relationship with the council and the (tribal council) chairman," he said.