At a Friday press briefing in Yolo County’s flooded wetlands, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new executive order that revoked significant portions of his March 2022 order that placed the Golden State under emergency drought restrictions. The Governor also rolled back his July 2021 call for Californians to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 15 percent.
Of the administration’s 81 emergency drought measures in place last week, only 32 will remain in effect after Friday’s announcement, including restrictions on wasteful water practices and provisions that seek to increase groundwater levels.
But as the Governor conveyed his plans to the public, he also explicitly noted that the drought is not yet over. Instead, the Governor commented that the reality of drought in California “is and continues to be complicated.”
While Californians have experienced one of the wettest winters on record, officials are still urging residents and businesses to continue conserving. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, most of California is no longer classified as experiencing drought conditions.
The push for continued conservation comes as the region braces for yet another atmospheric river-driven storm system set to make landfall early this week. This round of storms comes just after thousands of South Bay PG&E customers lost power in last week’s storm.
In a statement, Chair of the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Board of Directors John L. Varela indicated the Governor’s order was “welcome news in Santa Clara County.” Varela also confirmed plans to bring recommendations related to the County’s existing water conservation rules based on the Governor’s announcement for consideration by the Board.