California’s drought is over, but water conservation remains a ‘way of life’
California’s drought is over, but water conservation remains a ‘way of life’.
Brown’s executive order lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water programs will remain in place to help communities that ran short of groundwater supplies.
The executive order keeps in place conservation measures that are designed to make California more resilient against future droughts and promote water conservation as a long-term practice.
They include bans on watering lawns within 48 hours of rain, washing cars without a shut-off nozzle on the hose or cities watering grass on road medians using potable water.
Brown declared the drought emergency in 2014, and a year later, officials later ordered mandatory conservation for the first time in state history.
The agencies involved include California Department of Water Resources (DWR), SWRCB, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and California Energy Commission (CEC).
The order has four primary objectives: use water more wisely, eliminate water waste, strengthen local drought resilience and improve agricultural water use efficiency and drought planning.
According to Marcus, the final report was released after Brown lifted the drought emergency.
“The report is about the next steps of that process.” The water action plan, Marcus said, aims to curb “truly wasteful practices” such as watering lawns to the extent that the water runs down the street.