California Drought Restrictions Ease Following Series of Winter Storms

Kamari Esquerra

Following a winter of relentless rain and snow in California, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday a rollback on drought restrictions across the state.  

“The easing of restrictions is something that Desert Water Agency welcomes,” said Ashley Metzger, Spokesperson for Desert Water Agency. “We haven’t yet – because we’re not able to,  but once the state water board takes action, we will be able to remove our Level 2 restrictions.”

Desert Water Agency moved from Level 1 of its Drought Response Plan to Level 2 last June. 

“In our Level 2 stage, we have requirements for people to not use their sprinklers during daylight hours, and restaurants can also not serve water to customers unless they specifically request it,” said Metzger.

Governor Newsom’s action on Friday allows the State Water Resources Control Board to now rescind those restrictions, at which time water agencies across the country – including Desert Water Agency which serves Palm Springs and Cathedral City – can ease their water restrictions. 

“This action by Governor Newsom is really just the first step in allowing water agencies across California to really ease up given all of the wet weather that we’ve seen here in the Coachella Valley, but also in the Sierra Nevada where all of our water supplies come from that we count on to keep us sustainable,” said Metzger.

But some restrictions will still remain in place.

“No watering after rain, not watering so much that it hits the sidewalk – those things are all a part of level 1 and those will be in place all of the time,” said Metzger.

And despite record-rainfall, California’s drought is far from over.  

“California is getting hotter and drier and it’s something that Desert Water Agency and all of our neighbors around the state are working really hard to prepare for,” said Metzger.

“Definitely wanting customers to be water efficient and look for ways they can conserve their usage,” said Melinda Weinrich, Outreach and Conservation Manager for Desert Water Agency.


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