Economy

Gov. Brown declares end to state's drought emergency

Gov. Brown declares end to state's drought emergency

Jerry Brown on Friday lifted many conservation orders after a wild winter brought heaps of snow and rain to the parched Golden State.

Since 2012, Californians have suffered through a historic drought that 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).

Water districts issued strict conservation rules and paid property owners to rip out water-slurping lawns and replace them with less thirsty plants.

"This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner", said Gov. Brown said. "Conservation must remain a way of life". Emergency restrictions will remain in place in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne counties to help address diminished groundwater supplies in those areas.

Although the rain and snow we've seen this winter has been promising, a single above-average year can not reverse the massive declines in groundwater we've experienced.

Another late-season atmospheric river has pushed Northern California's water year (Oct. 1 to September 30) to the second wettest ever recorded, the National Weather Service said Friday.

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The announcement comes after one of the state's wettest seasons on record.

"There's a greater appreciation of just how precious water is", she said.

"California's farmers and ranchers practice conservation every day", CDFA secretary Karen Ross said. They instead relied entirely on deliveries of bottled water or on tanks for drinking and domestic use. "Drought shaming" snoops outed homes and businesses in places such as Beverly Hills that let their sprinklers run too long.

The rest of the state shouldn't forget water-saving strategies either.

Water conservation will become a way of life in the nation's most populated state, Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board, who led conservation planning. The 40-foot-wide tunnels have been touted to ensure more reliable water deliveries to city and farm water agencies in Central and Southern California. Experts said the naturally occurring cyanobacterium blossomed because nutrients that built up during the drought were washed off hills when rains finally arrived.

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 file photo, houseboats sit in the drought lowered waters of Oroville Lake, near Oroville, Calif. Gov.


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