California governor lifts drought emergency
Jerry Brown announced the end of the state’s drought emergency Friday, stressing that water conservation must be a permanent part of life as the state adapts to climate change and prepares for the next drought.
Brown lifted the state of emergency in most of the Golden State after one of its wettest winters on record, which brought heavy snowfall to the Sierra Nevada and refilled reservoirs.
The California Water Resources Control Board will continue to require cities and water agencies to report monthly on water use and will keep prohibitions in place on water waste, including watering immediately after rain, hosing down sidewalks or watering grass on street medians.
Some researchers concluded that the three years from 2012 to 2014 were the most severe drought in the past 1,200 years.
State regulators imposed mandatory conservation targets for cities and water agencies in May 2015 and tracked their progress monthly.
► Related:February record warm for 16 states, 145M Americans As of Friday, snow sensors across the Sierra Nevada measured California’s snowpack at 161% of average.
The plan calls for setting new community-specific conservation targets.
Environmental groups also have called for a continued focus on saving water and using water more efficiently.
“Moving forward, it will be important to ensure that conservation and efficiency measures are applied to all sources of water, including recycled water.” ► Related:Out West, snow is so deep scientists don’t have tools to measure it ► More:Drought covers just 17% of California, down from 73% three months ago Climate change is projected to lead to more severe droughts.
"The extremes of severe drought followed by floods that we’ve experienced these last few years is what will happen more often as climate change accelerates," Marcus said.