California Drought Officially Over, Governor Jerry Brown Announces

Brown's announcement does away with his 2014 drought emergency order that set in place strict water use guidelines that were unprecedented in the state's history.

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. "Conservation must remain a way of life", Brown emphasized. Emergency restrictions will remain in place in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne counties to help address diminished groundwater supplies in those areas.

California's drought spanned water years 2012 through 2016.

Stay with KCRA for updates.

A long-term plan to brace California for future droughts was also announced Friday, by the Department of Water Resources. We also understand the need for continued water waste prohibitions and reporting requirements as a "bridge" to permanent measures under the long-term conservation framework issued in final form today.

While we fully support the plan's proposal to extend water planning requirements to more agricultural water suppliers, it keeps intact almost all of the draft's flawed ideas for improving agricultural water efficiency, including a misguided fixation on getting agricultural water districts (which supply irrigation water to farms) to complete complicated water budgets.

While Gov. Brown has demonstrated strong leadership when it comes to reducing the water used in our homes and businesses, there's more work to do to help California agriculture become more efficient.

"Californians stepped up big time during the drought", said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board.

Despite these improvements, the state noted that California's five-year drought will have lingering effects.

In September, 100 percent of the state was experiencing at least some level of drought, and 21 percent was experiencing what NOAA termed an "exceptional drought".

The rest of the state shouldn't forget water-saving strategies either.

Bans on wasteful practices, such as hosing sidewalks and watering lawns after rain.

Severely dry conditions across much of the state began in the winter of 2011-2012, and their damage will "linger for years in many areas", reads the governor's statement on the matter.

The executive order issued by Brown effectively terminates the state of emergency implemented in January of 2014.

The post California's five-year drought is over, governor declares appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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