SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— California’s top water experts say people living in the coastal cities don’t appreciate just how dire the state’s drought is becoming. It’s more serious than most Californians realize, but it can be managed as long as we start having wet winters again soon. At least that’s what some of the state’s top water experts said at an emergency water forum organized by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

University of Southern California’s Schwarzenegger Institute and the Public Policy Institute of California co-hosted the meeting on the state’s emergency drought measures. Schwarzenegger said California needs to fix its water issues, not slap another Band-Aid on them.

“We must remember that the real problem is our shortsightedness. We shouldn’t just marvel at innovative solutions. We must make a commitment to the future,” he said.

True to form, Schwarzenegger also showed a video in which he blew up a swimming pool and a green lawn. It includes him delivering a line in familiar ‘Governator’ fashion: “Maybe you ought to be more drought tolerant,” before obliterating the pool to explosive sounds.

Vito Chiesa, president of the California State Association of Counties, said if it doesn’t rain and snow next winter, we will be in deep trouble.

“However bad you think this drought is, the potential of this drought is worse than you think,” he said.

Felicia Marcus, chair of the state water resources control board, said it’s not time yet to import water from wetter states, as people often suggest.

“That’s probably the most expensive water that would take the longest turn to get and there are cheaper, faster, smarter things first, but everything will be on deck in the decades to come.”

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