State Water Officials Extend California’s Emergency Drought Restrictions; Issue to Be Revisited in May

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California’s snowpack is at 184% of average for this time of year. Cities from San Francisco to Los Angeles have recorded their highest rain levels in years. Rockslides and flooding hit Northern California.

Snow covers vehicles in a parking lot in the Mammoth Lakes earlier this month. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Snow covers vehicles in a parking lot in the Mammoth Lakes earlier this month. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

And the spillway of the state’s massive dam at Lake Oroville, once a symbol of the state’s brutal drought when it sat near empty, is actually eroding due to so much runoff from fall and winter rains.

Despite all this, the State Water Resources Control Board on Wednesday held firm in the face of opposition and extended the state’s emergency drought regulations, pledging to revisit them in May, when the state’s traditional rainy season has ended.

“We’re certainly well-situated compared to previous years, but we’ve learned things can change suddenly. Warm rain or higher temperatures can quickly degrade snowpack,” said board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus.

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