Northern Californian Reservoirs Rise to 96 Percent, State Prepares to Lift Conservation Order
CALIFORNIA – After rain continued to trickle through California during recent months, reservoirs in the northern region are brimming near capacity. As the Shasta and Oroville dams near 96 percent capacity, California’s Water Resources Control Board prepares to meet on May 18 to discuss the termination of California’s emergency drought order although officials remain cautious.
“This is not a time to start using water like it's 1999… this year could simply be a punctuation mark in a mega-drought,” said Felicia Marcus, Water Resources Control Board Chair, in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
The current drought order demands at least 25 percent total water conservation from the state’s water districts. Since being instituted in June of last year by Governor Jerry Brown, the state and its 39 million residents have achieved a combined water use savings of 23.9 percent.
According to BreitBart.com, Marcus stated that the water saved during the 11 month emergency restriction period was enough to supply water to 5.9 million Californians for one year. That populace would be roughly equal to the populations for San Diego, Riverside, and Tulare counties.
Weather authorities credit the El Niño precipitation conditions in the Pacific for California’s moves towards ending water restrictions. This weather has caused the reservoir water levels to rise by 140 feet which makes them 11.24 feet away from brimming over the top.
As we previously reported, state officials have been moving towards a final discussion of lifting restrictions since last month, and Northern Californian counties have voted to remove their own restrictions. However, the Control Board’s meeting next week will come shortly after Governor Brown instituted an executive order on Monday to ban certain water-wasting practices.
Unless late rains fall, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that Southern California will likely head into its fifth year of drought. BeitBart.com also stated that nearly 90 percent of California remains in a moderate drought or worse despite the filling of the Northern California reservoirs.
As state officials continue to strive to find a balance between water restrictions and needs for citizens and farmers across the state, AndNowUKnow will keep you updated as the summer progresses.