WHAT TO KNOW: Climate change has made California’s dry and wet spells more extreme and unpredictable – after the three driest years on record, recent rain and snowfall have dramatically changed conditions in many parts of the state. The state has also advanced actions to boost storage and supply. Today’s action eases drought emergency provisions that are no longer needed while maintaining others to support impacted communities statewide.
Harnessing water captured and stored from recent storms, the state also announced a major increase in expected State Water Project deliveries to local agencies – now an anticipated 75% allocation.
While recent storms have helped ease drought impacts, regions and communities across the state continue to experience water supply shortages, especially communities that rely on groundwater supplies that have been severely depleted in recent years. Today’s order is responsive to current conditions while preserving smart water measures:
Ends the voluntary 15% water conservation target, while continuing to encourage that Californians make conservation a way of life;
- Ends the requirement that local water agencies implement level 2 of their drought contingency plans;
- Maintains the ban on wasteful water uses, such as watering ornamental grass on commercial properties;
- Preserves all current emergency orders focused on groundwater supply, where the effects of the multi-year drought continue to be devastating;
- Maintains orders focused on specific watersheds that have not benefited as much from recent rains, including the Klamath River and Colorado River basins, which both remain in drought;
- Retains a state of emergency for all 58 counties to allow for drought response and recovery efforts to continue.