Would you rather give up your lawn or your shower habit? Can you deal with spray-painting your parched garden green? Can you see the beauty in a front yard filled with cacti and rocks?

Low-flushing lavatories and recycled wastewater may not be subject matters you would usually associate with a generally more glamorous and decisively sexier California, but as the reality of drought hits urban areas, these are the questions millions of Californians are having to ask.

On 1 April, following the announcement of a fourth year of drought, Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order demanding a 25% reduction of water usage in urban areas statewide beginning 1 June.

That meant that from Monday, around 90% of Californians were faced with reducing their water consumption by a quarter compared to 2013 levels. In high-consumption areas, water companies have been given targets as high as 36%. Customers have been told they must reconsider their entire way of life.

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