Coachella Valley Region
For years, the state has thirsted for water. But with California’s largest reservoirs and snow pack at above average levels, local water agencies throughout the state and in the desert are calling for an end to drought regulations.
"We’ve been in Sacramento, we’ve been testifying at hearings and participating in some of their public workshops in an effort to help the regulators in Sacramento understand what the water situation is here in the Coachella Valley," said Katie Evans, Conservation Manager for the Coachella Valley Water District.
The Coachella Valley Water District recently attended a public hearing held by the State Water Resources Control Board.
"At that time we we’re able to give a public testimony in which we asked the state to let the drought declaration expire. We said that based on current conditions we did not believe that we were in a state wide emergency," said Evans.
After a long discussion in Sacramento the State Water Resources Control Board voted to extend drought conditions through May. The Board argued drought conditions are still severe enough to continue emergency water regulations. But many water agencies throughout the state disagree.
"We operate under the assumption that we are always in a drought. This is the desert. So we really have been focused on long term conservation, long term water use efficiency that will sustain our water supplies going forward," Evans said.
Coachella Valley residents say they are skeptical about lifting drought regulations.
"I can see that we got a lot more moisture this year by the snow levels up there, but I’m still for water conservation," said Idyllwild resident Antoinette Sullivan.
"We should be conserving water. You never know what next year or the year after will bring, right?" said Palm Desert resident Ilse Ens.