Gov. Jerry Brown is extending his executive order requiring Californians to conserve water as the state prepares for a fifth year of drought.
The governor announced Friday that he is continuing a 2014 order declaring a drought emergency to give state officials more flexibility to address the ongoing effects of the drought.
Brown ordered communities throughout the state to reduce water use by a quarter this year, but those cuts will expire in February.
Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board, says officials won’t know by then whether an expected El Nino weather pattern will bring enough water to ease drought conditions.
The order also suspends some environmental rules, expedites permits for power plants damaged by wildfires, and will allow some Californians to capture more water.