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California Should Not Act Like the Drought Is Over, Says Governor

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Brown wants to make some water restrictions permanent

El Niño rolled through California this winter and spring, but played out very differently in Southern California than it did in other, northern parts of the state. In some areas, reservoirs filled up and a solid amount of snow fell. However, in Southern California, we weren't so lucky. Some regions that got treated to a wet and snowy winter are feeling great about all the water they've got, but on the whole, about 90 percent of the state is still firmly mired in drought conditions.

For that reason, reports the AP, Governor Jerry Brown has issued an order stating that California should "permanently follow some conservation measures taken during the state's drought." Under the proposal, cities would have to continue reporting how much water they use every month, and excessive watering of lawns would stay banned.

The state would "adjust emergency water conservation regulations through the end of January 2017, in recognition of the differing water supply conditions across the state," and officials would also be required to come up with water restrictions for 2017, in case the drought keeps going strong for another year. (California has just had its "driest four-year stretch in history.")

Water officials are considering whether or not to mess with the existing conservation goals, adjusting them according to the amount of rain they got over the winter or leaving them as they are.