Gov. Brown declares drought officially over

CALIFORNIA, 4/10/17 — Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order Friday, officially ending the drought state of emergency for most of the state but maintaining prohibitions on wasteful practices and continuing water reporting requirements by the State Water Resources Control Board.
A press release from the Governor’s office notes that “damage from the drought will linger for years in many areas.” During the drought, which is considered to have spanned water years 2012-2016, urban Californians made a 25% reduction in water use.
On Friday, state water agencies also issued a report called “Making Water Conservation a Way of Life,” calling for further legislation to conserve water and plan for future droughts.
Here’s the full pres release, from the governor’s office: SACRAMENTO – Following unprecedented water conservation and plentiful winter rain and snow, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today ended the drought state of emergency in most of California, while maintaining water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices, such as watering during or right after rainfall.
“Conservation must remain a way of life.” Executive Order B-40-17 lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies.
Executive Order B-40-17 builds on actions taken in Executive Order B-37-16, which remains in effect, to continue making water conservation a way of life in California: The State Water Resources Control Board will maintain urban water use reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices such as watering during or after rainfall, hosing off sidewalks and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.
In a related action, state agencies today issued a plan to continue to make conservation a way of life in California, as directed by Governor Brown in May 2016.
Although the severely dry conditions that afflicted much of the state starting in the winter of 2011-12 are gone, damage from the drought will linger for years in many areas.
The consequences of millions of dead trees and the diminished groundwater basins will continue to challenge areas of the state for years.
California’s Drought Response The drought that spanned water years 2012 through 2016 included the driest four-year statewide precipitation on record (2012-2015) and the smallest Sierra-Cascades snowpack on record (2015, with 5 percent of average).

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