Gov Brown lifts California drought emergency, except in some Valley Counties
Gov Brown lifts California drought emergency, except in some Valley Counties.
The drought strained native fish that migrate up rivers, killed millions of trees, and forced farmers in the nation’s leading agricultural state to rely heavily on groundwater, with some tearing out orchards.
Brown declared the drought emergency in 2014, and officials later ordered mandatory conservation for the first time in state history.
Regulators last year relaxed the rules after a rainfall was close to normal.
But monster storms this winter erased nearly all signs of drought, blanketing the Sierra Nevada with deep snow, California’s key water source, and boosting reservoirs.
The governor lifted 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.
Water conservation will become a way of life in the nation’s most populous state, said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board, who led conservation planning.
Cities and water districts throughout the state will be required to continue reporting their water use each month, said the governor order, which also bans wasteful practices, such as hosing off sidewalks and running sprinklers when it rains.
Atkins said she still receives calls from people whose wells are running dry and need a tank and bottled water.
"In no way is it over," she said of the drought.