After years of living under drought conditions, California residents could breathe a collective sigh of relief Friday morning when Governor Jerry Brown declared that the state's drought was officially over. So, while reservoirs around most of the state are brimming, bans against hosing down driveways and sidewalks, irrigating landscaping within 48 hours of rainfall and other water-waste prohibitions will remain in effect.
According to the Associated Press, Brown declared an end to the state's drought emergency that forced local lawmakers to create innovative water conservation projects. "Conservation must remain a way of life".
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.
Those efforts clearly helped, fueled by a slew of mandates and restrictions that were under affect during the state drought emergency, which formally came to an end on Friday. The framework requires new legislation to establish long-term water conservation measures and improved planning for more frequent and severe droughts. The farms that grow the fruit, vegetables, and other food that feed our families use four times the water that our cities use, so we can not expect to make significant progress toward a sustainable water future without addressing California's largest water user.
State water officials hope the lessons learned from the recent drought will lead to people permanently changing wasteful water habits. Gov. Brown, our children, grandchildren, and future generations of Californians are counting on you.
The State Water Resources Control Board will continue to enforce urban controls, including reporting requirements, and the state will continue to respond to an unprecedented bark beetle outbreak in drought-stressed forests that has killed millions of trees, the governor's office stated.
"It was only the third year of the drought and we got a groundwater law".
The Drought State of Emergency has been lifted for most of California. "With the governor's plan going forward, wasting water will be enforced perpetually to make sure our water is being used properly".
More than 900 families mostly in Tulare County, a farming powerhouse in the San Joaquin Valley, are struggling even to find drinking water after their wells dried up and have to turn to charities for bottled water or tanks for their yards.
"It's worth taking a moment to be grateful for all the rain and snow out there", Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, told reporters on a conference call after the governor's announcement. Suppliers would calculate their unique water efficiency targets based the diverse climatic, demographic and land-use character of each agency's service area.