Gov. Jerry Brown Lifts Drought Emergency For Most Of California

Brittany BishopApr 08, 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown made official on Friday what anyone who happened to be looking out a window at yet another soggy Sacramento morning may have suspected: The California drought is over. But Brown said in a recent statement that conservation must remain a way of life in the Golden State.

Brown, the Los Angeles Times reported, signed an executive order lifting the drought emergency in all California counties with the exceptions of Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking-water programs are to remain in force.

Stay with KCRA for updates.

Brown's office will ask California legislators to act on new legislation to implement long-term water conservation measures, part of a framework issued Friday by five state agencies. "We will continue exploring and developing water resources that prepare the region for the future water challenges created by inevitable drought and climate change".

For five years, the state endured significantly less rain than normal, cutting into the water supply and forcing the state to impose strict limits on water use.

While Gov. Brown has demonstrated strong leadership when it comes to reducing the water used in our homes and businesses, there's more work to do to help California agriculture become more efficient. In year prior, "exceptional drought" hit most of the state, including the Bay Area. Now, those restrictions are no longer required by the State Water Resources Control Board, which has carried out the governor's orders for the last three years, said Dan Arrighi, manager of water resources at the San Gabriel Valley Water Co., a large, for-profit water retailer. By kicking the can down the road, state agencies have failed to heed the governor's call to find ways to conserve more water now.

Californians can't hose off sidewalks and driveways or irrigate lawns within 48 hours of rain.

According to the governor's release, the severely dry conditions that afflicted much of the state beginning in the winter of 2011-12 are gone, but damage from the drought will linger for years in many areas. But increased precipitation this year and substantial snow pack helped bring California back from the drought.

In addition to forcing cutbacks in agricultural production, the drought killed some 100 million trees, harmed wild animals and affected drinking supplies for some rural communities.

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