Most California Water Districts Can Ease Conservation - NBC Southern California

Most California Water Districts Can Ease Conservation



    Most California Water Districts Can Ease Conservation
    This June 6, 2016 photo shows patches of dead and dying trees near Cressman, Calif. The U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday, June 22, 2016, that the number of trees in California's Sierra Nevada forests killed by drought and a bark beetle epidemic has dramatically increased since last year.

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The drought is not over, but state officials will not force most California water districts to reduce water use this year.

    The Sacramento Bee reports that about 85 percent of the state's water districts told the water board Tuesday that they believe they have adequate supplies to handle continued drought and should not be subject to state-mandated conservation targets. The remaining districts must set conservation goals proportional to their anticipated shortfall.

    The new approach to conservation is a sharp reversal from last year when the state imposed mandatory water-use cuts of 25 percent on average across the state compared with 2013.

    A relatively normal amount of rain and snowfall in Northern California last winter helped ease drought conditions. However, the National Drought Mitigation Center says about 60 percent of the state remains in severe, extreme or exceptional drought.