The Governor has announced that the Great California Drought is officially over after a very wet winter with plentiful snowfall and rain filling up our reservoirs to the breaking point (literally). However, the strict water efficiency rules and regulations induced by the water shortage will remain in place.
“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” said Governor Brown. “Conservation must remain a way of life.”
According to a release from the Governor’s office Executive Order B-40-17 lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies. Today’s order also rescinds two emergency proclamations and four drought related orders from 2014 and 2015.
However, the State Water Resources Control Board will maintain urban water use reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices such as watering during or after rainfall, hosing off sidewalks and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.
In a related action, state agencies today issued a plan to continue to make conservation a way of life in California, as directed by Governor Brown in May 2016. The framework requires new legislation to establish long-term water conservation measures and improved planning for more frequent and severe droughts.
Overall, we agree with the actions the Governor has taken and as an industry have been working hard for years to use water more efficiently and reduce water waste. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and state agencies to make sure regulations drafted make sense and can be implemented in a way that makes sense.
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