State drought emergency over but conservation must continue, governor says

"This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner", he said in a statement. The order today rescinds emergency proclamations made in first January and then April 2014 and four drought-related executive orders made in relation to the crisis. But Brown said in a recent statement that conservation must remain a way of life in the Golden State. "We've seen a tremendous shift in the way the public thinks about and uses water, and we are confident that will continue with the ongoing efforts by local water agencies and the statewide Save Our Water program".

Water is life for California's $47 billion farming industry, which grows almost half the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables. "We have always been committed to promoting conservation and managing the water supplies in a long-term, sustainable manner".

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Jerry Brown has declared an end to the state's water emergency following a five-year drought that reduced rivers to trickles, farmland to dust and forests to graveyards of dead trees. Achieving the plan's goals will help all of California better prepare for longer and more severe droughts caused by climate change, as directed by the Governor's May Executive Order.

California uses more water each year than nature makes available, and one wet winter won't change the long-term outlook, environmentalists cautioned. The move lifts the 2014 drought emergency order that led to unprecedented mandatory cutbacks for urban water users.

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The drought that began in 2012 included the four driest years on record for California.

Northern California legislators and water district officials had urged Brown to declare the drought's end, citing the winter's deluges and heavy snowpack.

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California officials have credited residents for doing their part to conserve water by taking shorter showers and ripping out grass lawns to install landscaping that requires minimal irrigation, among other measures. State water authorities likely hope that the habits formed during the drought will be retained - though some local agricultural water authorities are now pumping water to farmers as fast as they can to keep dams from overflowing. It also killed millions of trees and diminished groundwater levels. But increased precipitation this year and substantial snow pack helped bring California back from the drought.


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