Don’t Saturate Lawns But California’s Drought Officially Over
(Editor’s Note: A March 17 article in the Capitol Weekly, penned by the chief correspondent of California’s Capitol, noted that despite the state’s strong hyrdrologic condition, California was officially still in a drought because a February 27, 2009 executive order by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared the state in a drought emergency. Executive orders stay in effect until superceded by a subsequent one. See below. And, per the last paragraph of the proclamation, don’t leave the sprinklers on too long.)
Governor Brown Ends State’s Drought Status, Urges Californians to Continue to Conserve
SACRAMENTO – Following significant increases in statewide rainfall and mountain snowpack this season, Governor Jerry Brown today proclaimed an end to the state’s drought, but urged Californians to keep conserving water as we move into the spring and summer months.
“While this season’s storms have lifted us out of the drought, it’s critical that Californians continue to watch their water use,” Brown said. “Drought or no drought, demand for water in California always outstrips supply. Continued conservation is key.”
Today’s announcement follows the fourth snow survey of the season, conducted by the Department of Water Resources, which found that water content in California’s mountain snowpack is 165 percent of the April 1 full season average.
A majority of the state’s major reservoirs are also above normal storage levels. Lake Oroville in Butte County, the State Water Project’s principal reservoir, is 104 percent of average for the date (80 percent of its 3.5 million acre-foot capacity). Lake Shasta north of Redding, the federal Central Valley Project’s largest reservoir with a capacity of 4.5 million acre-feet, is at 111 percent of average (91 percent of capacity).
The department estimates it will be able to deliver 70 percent of requested State Water Project water this year. The estimate likely will be adjusted upward as hydrologists make adjustments for snowpack and runoff readings.
Given the heavy water inflow from the series of storms that have swept across California, the state’s flood managers are monitoring high river flows and making flood control releases from reservoirs to maintain storage space.
Governor Brown’s Proclamation officially rescinds Executive Order S-06-08, issued on June 4, 2008 and ends the States of Emergency called on June 12, 2008, and on February 27, 2009.
For additional information on California’s water supply, please visit the Department of Water Resources website at: www.water.ca.gov.
The Governor’s proclamation, signed today, is copied below:
A PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
WHEREAS on June 4, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-06-08, which proclaimed a statewide drought, and ordered executive branch entities to take immediate action to address the water shortage; and,
WHEREAS on June 12, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed a State of Emergency for nine Central Valley counties because the drought had caused conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property; and,
WHEREAS on February 27, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed a State of Emergency for the entire state as the severe drought conditions continued and the impacts were well beyond the Central Valley; and,
WHEREAS the Department of Water Resources today conducted the fourth snow survey of the season and found that water content in California’s mountain snowpack is 165 percent of the season average; and,
WHEREAS a majority of California’s major reservoirs are above normal storage levels; and,
WHEREAS Lake Oroville, the State Water Project’s principal reservoir, is 104 percent of average, and Lake Shasta, the federal Central Valley Project’s largest reservoir, is at 111 percent of average; and,
WHEREAS the Department of Water Resources estimates it will be able to deliver 70 percent of the requested State Water Project water this year, and this estimate is likely to be adjusted upward after additional snowpack and runoff readings; and,
WHEREAS I am advised by the appropriate agencies of the State of California that current conditions warrant the termination of Executive Order S-06-08 and ending the States of Emergency called on June 12, 2008, and on February 27, 2009.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes of the State of California, do hereby PROCLAIM THE DROUGHT TO BE AT AN END.
IT IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED that all Californians continue to minimize water usage and engage in water conservation efforts.
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