Below is an excerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle dated January 17, 2017. This should answer all of the questions re: “IS THE DROUGHT OVER”
California’s tough water regulations likely to remain in place
By Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle
Updated 6:02 pm, Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Water agencies have asked the state to drop the measures in light of the recent weather, but regulators say it’s too early to let up on conservation. The proposal, which will be taken up by the water board Wednesday, calls for re-evaluating the emergency regulations this spring.
Over the past month, California’s water situation has taken a big turn for the better.
Precipitation in the northern Sierra, where water is most vital for filling California reservoirs, on Tuesday measured 204 percent of average for this time of year. The snowpack, which fills reservoirs when the winter rains stop, was at 154 percent of the norm. The rain and snow have helped many suppliers rebound from water shortages, prompting calls to let the state’s emergency regulations expire. “The important words to consider here are emergency and credibility,” Tim Quinn, the executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, told The Chronicle in an email. “The public can readily see that conditions have changed dramatically. Continuing the message that we are in a drought emergency strains our credibility.”
State rules enacted last year require California’s 400 largest urban water suppliers to have enough water to meet a least three years’ worth of demand and, if they don’t, to impose restrictions on customers to achieve the target. While the mandate is less demanding than the rationing put in place by Gov. Jerry Brown during the worst days of the drought, many agencies still don’t want the state meddling in their affairs. Water board officials said extending the emergency measures ensures wise water use, in part by giving the state the power to impose fines. “It’s not just about percentage cutbacks. We don’t anticipate the need for many of those,” said Max Gomberg, senior environmental scientist. “It’s really about continuing some of the other things that are aiding our transition to more efficient water use and drought preparedness.