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Officials Look to Remove California Emergency Water Restrictions

Officials Look to Remove California Emergency Water Restrictions

CALIFORNIA – California residents, landscapers, and farmers are no stranger to the serious water guidelines which have hung over the state for the past couple of years. However, a warm sprinkle of good news and ease of severe restrictions may be on the cloudline for state inhabitants, according to recent statements made by water officials on California’s drought status. 

"It is time to end the State Water Board's mandatory water use restrictions statewide," said David Bolland, Special Projects Manager for the Association of California Water Agencies in a letter to water regulators. 

Bolland speculated that asking citizens and growers to retain emergency restrictions in the face of overflowing reservoirs from recent boughts of rain could damage the relationship between officials and state residents the next time such severe measures need to be implemented. Bolland represents hundreds of urban, commercial, and agricultural water districts under his station. 

State officials met in Sacramento on Wednesday to discuss the future of the restrictions in a State Water Resources Control Board workshop. Weather.com reported that while officials would ideally like to give control of restrictions to local water authorities, some board members remain skeptical of whether water responsibility and realism would be possible under lifted emergency restrictions. 

“While we are hopeful that we are turning the corner on this drought, the truth is that it’s just too soon to tell,” said Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board at the workshop. “Any additional water we can conserve today will serve us well tomorrow if the drought continues.”

Districts around the state, however, remain adamant that there has been enough rainfall to allow state authorities to take over in restriction regulations, which would ease water use for citizens and farmers alike. Several water districts have said that the current emergency restrictions are unnecessary.

"It's our responsibility to be sure we have available supplies to meet demands," said Fiona Sanchez of the Irvine Ranch Water District in Southern California at the workshop.

As we recently reported, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed that the percentage of the state which qualified under a D4-Exceptional drought status had shrunk by 25 percent since October. Under these changes, ABC News 10 stated that over 3 million inhabitants have seen drought improvements. 

It is important to note that if even emergency restrictions do get lifted throughout the state, California’s drought situation will not be alleviated entirely. As it stands now, the emergency restrictions are to remain in place through October, although Weather.com says a new conservation method will be implemented this May

Continue to click back on AndNowUKnow as we cover water updates throughout the nation and keep a close eye on the restrictions in California.