California governor declares end to drought emergency


California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during an event on health care at the House East Front of the Capitol March 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.

In a related action, state agencies today issued a plan to continue to make conservation a way of life in that will require new legislation to establish long-term water conservation measures and improved planning for more frequent and severe droughts. Officials later ordered mandatory water conservation for the first time in California's state history.

The plan, Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life, Implementing Executive Order B-37-16, was prepared by the Department of Water Resources, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Public Utilities Commission, Department of Food and Agriculture and the Energy Commission.

Jerry Brown announced Friday that he had officially ended the drought state of emergency in most of California.

California's drought ran from the 2012 to 2016 water years, with 2012 to 2015 being the state's driest years on record.

Still in drought conditions are four counties, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to ease diminished groundwater supplies.

California's current mountain snowpack is an astonishingly high 164 percent of the season average, and the state's two largest reservoirs - Lake Oroville and Lake Shasta - are now over 100 percent capacity.

"There's a greater appreciation of just how precious water is", she said.

"This drought has been one for the record books, but it won't be our last or longest", said Marcus. New rules are expected to permanently ban wasteful practices, such as hosing off sidewalks and watering landscapes in the days after it rains. Atkins said she still receives calls from people whose wells are running dry and need a tank and bottled water.

Customers can visit for more information about the end of the drought as well as programs and rebates that are available to help them keep using water efficiently.

"You can't stay at Defcon 1 forever, but you can figure out how to maintain sort of sensible vigilance", she said.