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State Water Board Staff Proposes Extension of Emergency Conservation Regulation

The State Water Resources Control Board staff is formally proposing that the state’s emergency conservation regulation be extended another 270 days! A draft resolution to amend and readopt the emergency regulation will be taken up after 1 p.m. on February 8, 2017 at the State Board meeting in Sacramento.  Comments on the proposed resolution will only be accepted through noon Monday, February 6, 2017!

The current emergency regulation became effective on May 31, 2016 and is set to expire February 28, 2017, unless extended by the State Water Board. The draft resolution proposing extending the emergency regulation states that California has experienced “significant snow and rainfall in December and January, causing many of the state’s reservoirs to shift to flood-control operations.” The resolution adds, however, that groundwater levels remain “depleted in many areas” and “precipitation cannot be counted on to continue.” Hydrologic water conditions “remain unclear” until at least April, the resolution adds, and “continued implementation of reasonable water conservation measures is prudent to address water supply uncertainty.”

The Association of California Water Agencies and many water agency representatives testified at a State Water Board hearing January 18 and voiced strong support for letting the regulation expire in February, citing dramatically improved conditions.

The State Water Board staff report is here.