There Goes the Drought Declaration

Declaring drought over will mean very little to the average Californian.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Mar 30, 2011  |  Updated 4:25 PM PDT
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If you look at the Sierra snowpack, reservoir levels or the worn-out state of your umbrella you won't be surprised to hear that Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared the drought is over.

The announcement came Wednesday, the same day the Department of Water Resources announced the Sierra snowpack is 165-percent of the season average. "Recent storms have significantly contributed to the above-average snowpack, helping to stabilize California's water supply for the year," said DWR Director Mark Cowin in a statement.

It only took a simple stroke of a pen for the governor quietly ended a drought state of emergency declared by his predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought back in June 2008.

Brown noted that a majority of the state’s reservoirs are above normal storage levels. He said Lake Oroville, which is the State Water Project’s principal reservoir, is 104 percent of average for the date and Lake Shasta, the federal Central Valley Project’s largest reservoir with a capacity of 4.5 million acre-feet, is at 111 percent of average.

A spokesman for the Department of Water Resources told KCRA in Sacramento that the action will have "no significant impact," because the activities authorized much earlier have already ended.

Nearly every water official at both state and county levels will tell you that drought or no drought, we can't be casual about the water supply. Everyone says conservation is still needed by all.

Brown seconds that thought. In his release he said, "While this season’s storms have lifted us out of the drought, it’s critical that Californians continue to watch their water use. Drought or no drought, demand for water in California always outstrips supply. Continued conservation is key."
 

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