California’s severe drought, which began in 2014, finally appears to be over. At its height, certain locations, primarily Central and Southern California, experienced extreme or exceptional drought conditions, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.
Today, three years later, the historic California drought is coming to an end. This winter was an exceptionally rainy one for California — its wettest on record, with 7 feet of snowfall accumulation in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
State reservoirs, including Lake Oroville, California’s second largest, have largely returned to or even surpassed historical average levels. Just last month, Governor Brown signed an executive order ending the state of drought emergency. It was left in effect, however, for four counties: Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Tuolumne.
These counties, as well as Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, are still experiencing lingering drought conditions — ranging from abnormally dry to moderate drought to severe drought — or drinking water shortages.
While emergency mandatory water conservation standards — enacted by the State Water Resources Control Board when Governor Brown declared the state of emergency — have been rescinded, emergency water reporting requirements and wasteful practice prohibitions have been left in place statewide. These include restrictions on lawn watering, hose use, and irrigation of ornamental landscaping.
In fact, under Governor Brown’s direction, the Control Board is investigating making certain reporting requirements and prohibitions permanent. The ultimate goal is to help make water conservation a way of life for Californians, not only to better our relationship with the environment but also to help ease the negative impact of future droughts.
Located in Southern California, the team here at Base Construction, Inc. keenly felt the effects of this drought, and we’ve been working hard to support important water conservation efforts over these past few years. While the end of the drought is in sight, we’ll remain committed to smart water use going forward in everything we do.