SACRAMENTO — Governor Jerry Brown declared Monday that emergency drought restrictions will be made permanent even though there has been near-normal rainfall this winter and spring.
Wasting water on things like washing down sidewalks, gutter flooding and washing cars without a controllable hose nozzle was outlawed during the drought emergency.
But the governor said one year of rain does not mean the drought is over. Local water agencies must also continue monitoring water use and water leakage in their systems.
A variety of measures will be taken to address long-term water usage. One change that water agencies are pleased about is a proposal before the State Water Board to consider a water agency’s supply before issuing water use goals.
For instance, the San Juan Water District, which serves Roseville, Folsom, Granite Bay and other communities was forced to explain to customers why it had to cut water use by 33 percent even though its main water source, Folsom Reservoir, was at record-high levels for this time of year.
“The locals know their supply conditions better than anyone else, they know the demands. Allowing them to really figure out the path forward in the short term, we see that as very positive,” said Jennifer Persike of the California Association of Water Agencies.
The association represents more than 400 water agencies. They agree that drought restrictions should remain in place. The association has outlined several strategies on how to save water and keep some landscaping alive at its website.