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California governor declares end to drought emergency

08 April 2017

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). It led to the first conservation rules for the nation's most populated and agriculturally productive state, focused on turning off sprinklers and ripping out thirsty lawns.

Brown's office also said new legislation will create long-term conservation measures as the state with a history of dry spells anticipates future droughts. But Brown said in a recent statement that conservation must remain a way of life in the Golden State.

Emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies in the four counties, the governor's order said.

FILE - In this March 30, 2017 file photo, snow falls on a meadow near the site where the Department of Water Resources conducts the snow survey near Echo Summit, Calif. Gov.

But monster storms this winter erased almost all signs of drought, blanketing the Sierra Nevada with deep snow, California's key water source, and boosting reservoirs.

Building on the successes and lessons learned from California's five-year drought, the plan establishes a framework for long-term efficient water use that reflects the state's diverse climate, landscape and demographic conditions. The reversal was swift: As of this week, just 1 percent of the state is still in severe drought, compared to 74 percent of the state one year ago. "They will continue to receive tanks and bottles water for drinking".

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Brown said temporary reporting requirements for cities that were implemented during the drought will remain, as will bans on watering during or right after rainfall and hosing down driveways. "We've got to plan for longer droughts".

Throughout the plan development process, state agencies have expressed confidence that implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) will do more to improve efficiency in agriculture than revising the water management planning process.

Water is life for California's $47 billion farming industry, which grows almost half the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables.

A lot of them are in Tulare County, a farming powerhouse in central California's San Joaquin Valley. Scientists say five years of drought are to blame for much of the destruction.

California's drought is over, Gov.