With the Sierra Nevada smothered in snow, large swaths of the Central Valley flooded and many Californians weary of water, state officials announced today that they are lifting some drought-related provisions on water use.
“Our water supply conditions have improved markedly,” said Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency.
The state is rescinding its request for voluntary 15% water conservation statewide, which was issued in July 2021 and instead, Crowfoot said, shifting to an approach of making conservation a “way of life.”
“We need to maintain our vigilance,” he said. “It’s not about going back to normal anymore. It’s really adjusting to a new normal.”
Some of the state’s emergency provisions were ended and some were left in place. Wasteful uses of water, such as hosing down sidewalks and watering ornamental grass on commercial property, remain banned, according to state officials.
The state, however, is ending its requirement that local water agencies implement Level 2 drought contingency plans, which are locally written water use regulations — such as limits on watering lawns — that are invoked during water shortages.