California water board to reevaluate emergency drought regulations

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Valley farmers hope the additional water supply can help them recharge their underground aquifers. (KFSN)

A series of winter storms have eased drought concerns in many parts of California.

A healthy snow pack and steady rain have offered a fresh outlook to over five years of drought in California but the State Water Resources Control Board is expected to extend emergency regulations due to water supply problems in areas such as the Central Coast.

Sarge Green of the California Water Institute says not all agencies have an oversupply of water.

"For some people there still is a drought," he explained. "And so, they don't want to let go of those regulations and then have those people run out of water."

Valley farmers hope the additional water supply can help them recharge their underground aquifers. But many northern California lawmakers and water agencies believe it is time to end the regulations.

"Those days are passed with all this water and our snowpack we have, so I would urge the State Water Resources Control Board to lift these restrictions," Placer County supervisor Jim Holmes said.

For some, the board's decision can impact their income.

"If they're still held to a certain amount of water under the drought regulations," Green said. "The local agencies aren't selling as much water, so it affects their rate, so I can understand both sides of the coin."

Governor Jerry Brown wants to reassess the state's water supply in April before making his decision on the drought regulations.

The state board says no mandatory conservation measures are in place, only prohibitions against wasting water - such as watering the lawn within 48 hours of a rain event or letting sprinkler runoff drain into the street.

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