California Declares Drought Over

The latest order also rescinds four previous drought-related executive orders and two emergency proclamations.

Water is life for California's $47 billion farming industry, which grows almost half the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables. Brown said emergency drinking water projects will continue to help with diminished ground water supplies.

However, that also doesn't include the $1.6 million in drought-related grants that TUD acquired to extend a water pipeline in the Quartz-Stent area about 12,000 linear feet to connect as many as 100 homes, over 30 of which had wells that tested positive for contaminants including arsenic and nitrates. Jerry Brown on Friday lifted many conservation orders after a wild winter brought heaps of snow and rain to the parched Golden State.

Gov. Jerry Brown will, however, keep rules on water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices - like watering when there's rainy weather. The declaration came after the driest four-year period on record.

"Our groundwater supplies have been decimated during the drought and we know it will take several years, if not longer, to replenish what we've lost", said Tracy Quinn of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

It produced a historic groundwater use law and the first-ever statewide restrictions on urban water consumption.

More than 900 families mostly in Tulare County, a farming powerhouse in the San Joaquin Valley, are struggling even to find drinking water after their wells dried up and have to turn to charities for bottled water or tanks for their yards. Water suppliers and cities were required to cut urban water usage by 25 percent or more. "Most water suppliers have exceeded that amount".

"That could mean helping them find low-interest loans to deepen their well, drill a new one, or connect to a public utility if it's available", he said.

"There's a greater appreciation of just how precious water is", she said. Natural Resources Defense Council senior water policy analyst Tracy Quinn argued that the near-failure of a spillway at Oroville Dam demonstrated the vulnerability of the state's water system and reinforces the need for efficiency. Brown's announcement does away with his 2014 drought emergency order that set in place strict water use guidelines that were unprecedented in the state's history.

The winter rainfall, caused by so-called "Pineapple Express" storms that march across the Pacific from Hawaii, dramatically reduced the percentage of California under drought.

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.

  • Zachary Reyes