Coachella Valley Region
California’s five year drought has ended. Governor Jerry Brown lifted the drought emergency in most of the state but the effects of the drought will stay with Californians permanently.
"Some of the restrictions the governor has actually made permanent like watering 48 hours after rain, like watering so much that it runs off into the sidewalk or into road those things are permanently prohibited because the drought was really a lesson not only for our community but for the whole State of California that we need to be more efficient with our water use." says Ashley Metzger, Desert Water Agency’s conservation and outreach manager.
The governor’s office says the five year drought reduced farming in many regions, killed an estimated 100 million trees, hurt wildlife and cut off communities from water supplies, but thanks to record snowpack, rain and conservation the emergency is over. And now everything is blooming, lakes and reservoirs have gone from dry to at capacity at times creating different emergencies like the Oroville Dam. During the historic water cutback mandates, Coachella Valley residents saved 23 billion gallons of water.
Malia Dailey says she’s proud of her community’s changes, plans on making the changes permanent and hopes others do too, "I think we should still conserve, and especially here in the desert, yes, Palm Springs is an oasis but it’s still the desert."
The governor says conserving must become a way of life in the state. Five counties in Central California were affected so badly by the drought the governor did not lift the emergency drought restrictions.