ACWA Comments on Lifting of Drought Emergency, Final Framework on Long-Term Conservation

Gov. Jerry Brown lifted the drought emergency for California on Friday after several years of below-normal rain seasons.

However, Governor Jerry Brown warned the next one could be around the corner.

Gov. Brown declared a drought state of emergency over three years ago on January 17, 2014. Officials later ordered mandatory water conservation for the first time in California's state history. "Conservation must remain a way of life".

Asking water districts to report data electronically in the same format is a critically important change that can only further our understanding of how agriculture uses water.

Brown's executive order continues prohibitions on wasteful water use such as hosing off sidewalks, watering lawns within 48 hours of a rainstorm and irrigating the turf on street medians.

As California's population grows, the most efficient way to stretch and ensure water is to conserve, Kostyrko said. "Drought shaming" snoops outed homes and businesses in places such as Beverly Hills that let their sprinklers run too long.

California is lifting its drought emergency for most of the state after a winter of record rain and snowfall that followed a five-year dry spell.




The drought declaration remains in effect in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne counties where emergency drinking water projects are underway. The governor's executive orders mandating continued, long-term water savings were appropriate, "but this power should not be abused", state Sen.

According to the statement, although severely dry conditions are gone, damage from the drought will linger for years in many areas.

Central to the plan is a requirement that the state's 410 urban water suppliers meet new water use targets.

California finally received a significant amount of rainfall this winter after five years of drought.

State officials went on to say that the consequences of millions of dead trees and the diminished groundwater basins will continue to challenge areas of the state for years.

New regulations making water-conservation measures permanent are now being created by the state water board and the state Legislature, said Max Gomberg, the water board's conservation and climate change manager.

No part of the state was experiencing the two worst categories of drought, and only about 1 percent, in Imperial County along the Mexico border, was in "severe drought".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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