Gov. Jerry Brown Lifts Drought Emergency For Most Of California
California uses more water each year than nature makes available, and one wet winter won't change the long-term outlook, environmentalists cautioned.
Although the Drought State of Emergency is over, the governor wants Californians to maintain water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices, such as watering during or right after it rains.
The State of California press statement said state agencies have released a plan to make conservation a way of life in California, per Brown's request. That impressive conservation effort, coupled with a recent stretch of heavy precipitation, led to Brown's decision to lift the emergency.
California Governor Jerry Brown ended the drought state of emergency in most of California Friday.
Lowering water demand in Southern California was a big reason why this region managed the drought so effectively. The governor's executive orders mandating continued, long-term water savings were appropriate, "but this power should not be abused", state Sen.
The plan, Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life, Implementing Executive Order B-37-16, was prepared by the Department of Water Resources, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Public Utilities Commission, Department of Food and Agriculture and the Energy Commission.
The announcement Friday ends Brown's 2014 emergency declaration during California's driest four-year period on record.
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The drought had a significant impact on groundwater supplies in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne counties, and the state of emergency will remain in effect in those areas. Only small patches of the state are now in danger of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The USDA Drought Monitor data for California, for early April 20187, left, and 2016, is shown.
Requiring urban water suppliers to prepare water shortage contingency plans, including a drought risk assessment every five years. "Drought shaming" snoops outed homes and businesses in places such as Beverly Hills that let their sprinklers run too long.
"There's a greater appreciation of just how precious water is", she said.
Water is life for California's $47 billion farming industry, which grows almost half the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Bans on wasteful practices, such as hosing sidewalks and watering lawns after rain. Farmers also dug thousands of new wells, sucking up groundwater in the Central Valley and causing the ground to sink.
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