Governor declares official end to historic drought
Governor declares official end to historic drought.
Just over a week ago, California Governor Jerry Brown declared an official end to the state’s historic drought.
With his declaration, the governor confirmed an end to the driest four-year period in the state’s recorded history.
“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said and then cautioned, “Conservation must remain a way of life.” Brown’s statement was prudent in the face of continued climate extremes and growing concerns regarding the scarcity of water.
As a result, the state will continue its ban on wasteful practices as well as required reporting on urban water use.
The state will with plans to conserve water supplies while it also works to better prepare for inevitable drought periods that are almost certain to reoccur.
There is no question the drought not only strained resources but also caused a myriad of other problems up and down the state.
It killed millions of trees; forced farmers to rely heavily on groundwater; dried up wells; and hundreds of families in parts of the state were forced to drink bottled water and use water from buckets for their baths.
Last year, the state took a more nuanced approach to water conservation when it tempered conservation requirements and asked water suppliers to instead, prove they had enough water for their constituents even if there were three more abnormally dry years—with an end to the drought now official, water agencies are relieved of this requirement.
Despite the governor’s announcement, the emergency declaration will remain in place for the Central California counties of Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, due to depleted groundwater supplies that have left some residents dependent on emergency drinking water supplies.