February 3, 2016 | Latest Photo
Despite recent snow and rain so heavy that parts of Los Angeles and San Diego were flooded, California water regulators voted to extend drought emergency conservation measures through the spring.
Why is the state still in a drought emergency even though parts of it saw heavy rain in January? One reason is that Governor Jerry Brown set a goal for the state to use 25 percent less water than in past years, but it hasn’t met that goal, ABC News reports. In fact, it missed that target for the third straight month.
But really, it's also all about the snowpacks.
On April 1, the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides a third of California’s water supply, is usually at its deepest. It then melts to feed rivers, streams and reservoirs. The depth of the snowpack at that time will determine if water supply conditions are improving after nearly four years of drought, and whether California’s drought emergency can be lifted.
On the plus side, this week the water content of the snowpack measured 130 percent of its historical average for this time of year. "It's certainly a very encouraging start to the winter," Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, told ABC News.
Related: The 10 Driest Places on Earth
With the drought emergency extended, California residents are being asked to continue their efforts to reduce water use by 20 percent. But this is a good reminder for all of us about the importance of conserving water. Here are nine tips on how to do it from the office of California Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo.
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