With Drought Emergency Over, Californians Debate Lifting Water Restrictions
With Drought Emergency Over, Californians Debate Lifting Water Restrictions.
As California water officials confirmed Thursday that the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada remains well above average, pressure was mounting on the state to lift emergency water restrictions that have been in place for two years.
Two years ago, Gov.
"We’re still in a drought," Hunter says.
Hunter says his county is using on average 20 percent less water than it did at the start of the drought.
Overall, water consumption mirrors the rates of the 1980s, even though Orange County has added a million people.
Marcus, whose board enforces the drought restrictions, wants to see some of them made permanent, like the requirement that utilities publicly report their conservation targets monthly and the tougher penalties against water wasters.
Still, she worried that lifting the order could cause complacency.
"Californians aren’t that respectful of water," Garcia says.
"But it is time to lift; we do have a lot," Schugg says.