California moved on Wednesday to dramatically roll back strict mandatory water conservation rules imposed at the height of the state’s multi-year drought, after a wet winter eased conditions in parts of the state.
The state Water Resources Control Board voted to end mandatory conservation of up to 36 percent in many communities, moving instead to a system under which only regions where a shortage of supply is anticipated will have to conserve.
“We don’t want to cry wolf but we also don’t want to stick our heads in the sand,” said water board chair Felicia Marcus. “This is a compromise.”
The wet weather has eased but not ended a four-year drought that has led farmers to idle land, made rivers too warm for salmon and caused wells to run dry.