Photos Courtesy of  the Los Angeles Zoo

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Gov. Jerry Brown says “a more elegant” way of living, along with technology and the will to adapt, will preserve the California dream for generations to come despite the current crisis resulting from the drought.

The governor’s comments came Tuesday night, June 9, in a conversation with Austin Beutner, publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, about such issues as the “existential threat” posed by man-made global warming.

Brown said Californians would have to be more frugal with water, the state’s most precious resource. Doing so would enable the state to absorb 10 million more residents above the 39 million already here, he said.

“We are altering this planet with this incredible power of science, technology and economic advance,” Brown said. “You have to find a more elegant way of relating to material things. You have to use them with greater sensitivity and sophistication.”

Brown said that, as California struggles to meet a mandatory 25 percent reduction in urban water use, technology would provide long-term solutions, including capturing stormwater runoff  and recycling water numerous times.

“The metaphor is spaceship Earth,” Brown said. “In a spaceship you reuse everything. Well, we’re in space and we have to find a way to reuse, and with enough science and enough funding we’ll get it done.”

Earlier, Brown applauded the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for its $450 million two-year conservation budget to provide rebates and incentives for Southland residents to remove water-guzzling turf and install low-water-use fixtures.

Speaking for about 20 minutes before the MWD Board of Directors meeting in downtown Los Angeles, Brown said the drought represents the first time in the state “that a natural phenomenon has risen to this height of concern.”

As the land becomes increasingly dry and temperatures rise, Californians must face the threat of widespread soil and vegetation damage, along with “fires, disease and all sorts of things we don’t ordinarily have to deal with,” the governor said.

“This is the first time in human history that we’re all in this together,” Brown said, referring to the global impact of climate change.

“We have wreaked havoc on our natural resources,” including “the water systems of this state,” he said, adding that “there is no way back.”

The MWD’s conservation budget “is to be commended,” Brown said, describing the expenditure as an “investment in our future.”