Is the drought over?

Due to, or in spite of El Niño precipitation that underwhelmed many weather watchers, various California water agencies believe that the state has recovered sufficiently from its long term drought to call off water use restrictions. Local officials from around the state have begun to push back against the strict water conservation orders that were imposed last summer, amidst the driest 4 year period in recorded California history. At the time, residents and businesses were failing to reach voluntary conservation goals, leading Governor Jerry Brown to impose mandatory restrictions and penalties. But since then, water levels have shown considerable improvement in parts of California, particularly in the northern half of the state. In fact, some reservoirs in the Sierra Nevada region are actually expected to overflow this spring. Nevertheless, state officials indicate that removing restrictions is premature as reservoir and groundwater levels in Southern California remain low with hot, summertime weather just around the corner. Given the varied climates and conditions around California, calls for a more compartmentalized approach to conversation is expected to gain traction, allowing regions of the state with adequate water supplies to lessen restrictions on its residents and businesses.

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