California Drought Emergency Lifted; Most Water Restrictions Eased

SACRAMENTO (CBSLA.com/AP) – Gov. Jerry Brown lifted the drought emergency in California Friday, along with most statewide water restrictions, following one of the wettest winter in years.

The announcement Friday ends Brown’s 2014 emergency declaration during California’s driest four-year period on record. 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.

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

The executive order lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help boost diminished groundwater supplies, said Brown.

Monster storms this winter doused the Sierra Nevada with a record snowpack, a key California water source, and boosted reservoirs to normal levels.

Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Board, says the governor’s move doesn’t end water conservation in California.

Susan Atkins of the charity Self-Help Enterprises says the drought isn’t over for hundreds of families with dry wells who still live on bottled water.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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