California Declares Drought Over

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Impact of drought on Folsom Lake in California
Impact of drought on Folsom Lake in California

Impact of drought on Folsom Lake in California
Impact of drought on Folsom Lake in California

Conservation must remain a way of life

SACRAMENTO – CLIMATE – Following unprecedented water conservation and plentiful winter rain and snow, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today ended the drought state of emergency in most of California, while maintaining water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices, such as watering during or right after rainfall.

“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” said Governor Brown. “Conservation must remain a way of life.”

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 from January and April 2014 and four droughtrelated executive orders issued in 2014 and 2015.

Executive Order B-40-17 builds on actions taken in Executive Order B-37-16, which remains in effect, to continue making water conservation a way of life in California:

  • 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.
  • The state will continue its work to coordinate a statewide response on the unprecedented bark beetle outbreak in drought-stressed forests that has killed millions of trees across California.

Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s announcement today ending the drought state of emergency in much of California:

“As he had throughout the state’s drought emergency, Gov. Brown has once again demonstrated strong leadership in guiding California through unprecedented conditions. The governor, the State Water Resources Control Board and other state resource agencies showed extraordinary resourcefulness in bringing the state together to meet the drought’s challenges.

“Gov. Brown’s mandate that each and every Californian immediately reduce water use sent the right message that we are one state and that we can never take water for granted. Lowering water demand in Southern California was a big reason why this region managed the drought so effectively. This drought, however, was a wakeup call to re-examine all of our water uses and redouble the commitment to efficiently use every possible drop.

“Metropolitan helped set the water-saving example through our historic investment in turf removal and long-term wisdom of investments in resource management. To meet the state’s long-term conservation plan, we will continue exploring and developing water resources that prepare the region for the future water challenges created by inevitable drought and climate change.”