California governor declares end to drought emergency

"This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner", said Governor Brown. 'Conservation must remain a way of life'.

One of the worst droughts in California history has officially ended, Governor Jerry Brown declared on Friday, but not before it strained the state's farm economy and threatened water supplies for millions of residents.

After years of brown fields and cracked earth, monster storms blanketed California's Sierra Nevada Mountains this winter with deep snow that flows into the network of rivers and streams that supply much of the state's water.

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The winter rainfall, caused by so-called "Pineapple Express" storms that march across the Pacific from Hawaii, dramatically reduced the percentage of California under drought. These measures will help achieve a top priority in the Governor's Water Action Plan - to "make conservation a California way of life". According to the governor's office, California residents reduced urban water use across the state during the drought by almost 25 percent. After years of drought, an explosion of wildflowers in Southern and Central California is drawing record crowds. The company employs more than 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada.

As for the city of Folsom, Marcus Yasutake, director of the environmental and water resources department, said the city is in the same boat it was last May. "Drought shaming" snoops outed homes and businesses in places such as Beverly Hills that let their sprinklers run too long. This includes prohibiting wasteful water practices and requiring urban water districts to report water use. New rules are expected to permanently ban wasteful practices, such as hosing off sidewalks and watering landscapes in the days after it rains.

Customers can visit www.californiaamwater.com 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.

"In no way is it over", she said of the drought.

  • Annette Adams