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article imageCalifornia turns water conservation over to communities

By Karen Graham     May 19, 2016 in Environment
Sacramento - Though the drought still goes on, regulators in California have dropped the mandatory 25 percent water savings rules, turning control of water conservation over to communities.
There is no question that California is still under some extreme drought conditions, particularly in the southern half of the state. But regulators are optimistic after a precipitation-filled winter partly replenished some of the empty reservoirs.
Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order in April 2015 mandating a 25 percent reduction in water usage. After it went into effect, Californians reduced water consumption by 24 percent compared to 2013, reports the New York Times. Officials are hopeful the changes in water usage will continue as people have gotten used to using less water.
Under the new rules adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), individual water agencies will propose their own water conservation rules, based on the health of their own water supplies and anticipated usage during the coming months, reports the Sacramento Bee. This new rule is a sharp turn-around from what officials were saying for much of last year about the conservation mandate being permanent.
"We are still in a drought, but we are no longer in the-worst-snow-pack-in-500-years drought," says Felicia Marcus, the head of the SWRCB, according to Newser. The new rules are set to go into effect on June 1. Marcus also adds that some restrictions will remain, and can be considered permanent, such as spraying down sidewalks.
Just in case some Californians think they can get away with abusing the new water conservation rules, think again. This action by state officials is a "trial run." Over 70 percent of the state remains in severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions, and the Sierra snowpack is only 33 percent of normal.
More about california drought, drought conditions, community control, mandatory rules, Trial Run
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