Drought Emergency Over in Orange County, Officials Say

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The Municipal Water District of Orange County Board of Directors announced the end of emergency drought conditions in Orange County on Monday, citing record rainfall and overflowing reservoirs.

The MWDOC declaration also urged the state to stop emergency regulations in place. The state currently has special regulations under the Drought State of Emergency, in place in 50 counties including Orange, according to a press release.

Governor Jerry Brown declared the drought emergency in 2014 and ordered plans to reduce California’s water use by 25 percent.

Orange County water agencies have exceeded the drought mandates set by the State Water Resources Control Board, according to the MWDOC. Only a fraction of the state is still in extreme drought after powerful rain storms in December and January, officials said.

“It defies logic to tell the public – to force water agencies to tell the public – that we are still in a drought emergency,” said Wayne Osborne, president of the MWDOC Board of Directors. “Not only is it unnecessary, continuing the ‘emergency’ will destroy local leaders’ credibility with their stakeholders.”

The State Water Resources Control Board will consider whether to keep the regulations in place on Wednesday.

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