California drought over?
California will consider lifting a mandatory statewide water conservation order for cities and towns as the state’s drought eases.
An executive order was signed today that keeps current conservation efforts in motion—like monthly reporting from local agencies and stiff punishment for water wasters—but also begins to lay the groundwork for more drastic emergency water restrictions that would go into effect in 2017. In a statement, Brown said what most Californians have come to grips with already—this is our new reality:
“Californians stepped up during this drought and saved more water than ever before. But now we know that drought is becoming a regular occurrence and water conservation must be a part of our everyday life.”
According to reports, while most of the state didn’t see much of the California drought relief thanks to the El Niño no-show, residential water use was reduced by 23.9 percent from the previous year. That was just short of the 25 percent goal outlined by the original water restrictions. Rainfall managed to fill some reservoirs to above-average depths, but snowpack was still short of historical averages.
A few weeks ago a group of wealthy homeowners in Northern California tried to convince their local water departments that the California drought was over and that they should be able to have their restrictions lifted. Because, you know, it rained at their houses.