State water managers are not ready to declare an end to the drought, but they might be close to loosening the rules for mandatory cutbacks as local agencies say 'let them decide.'
Several panels of water agency representatives from all corners of California, including a panel representing the counties in the Sacramento region, say they would like local agencies that have a better idea of their own water supply conditions to decide how much their customers should cut back.
They shared with the State Water Resources Control Board their efforts to meet those state-mandated conservation goals and their past and present efforts to change everyone's mindset when it comes to water, so that we all use less of it and reuse it when we can.
Water Resources Control Board Chair, Felicia Marcus, says she thinks at least scaling back the state requirements is inevitable, and she is open to these suggestions.
"I think there are plenty of people who have pushed for us to maintain some kind of emergency to keep the message up and to keep the effort up," Marcus said. "On the other hand, you have water districts in very different circumstances who think we should lessen it."
Marcus says she is comfortable handing back that control to the local agencies, especially since it is so unusual for the state to step in, but she says, like she did with El Niño, she is taking a more pessimistic look at La Niña and the future because a decent winter does not mean we are not in a longer drought.