From the “but the media told us the drought was permanent in California” fake news department.
Wired, May 2016: “Thanks El Niño, But California’s Drought Is Probably Forever“. “California is still in a state of drought. For now, maybe forever.” The article gives no support — none — for this clickbait claim. In January Wired attempted to weasel away from their claims by defining drought to mean needing more water than nature provides (“A Wet Year Won’t Beat California’s Never-Ending Drought“). Orwell nodded, unsurprised.
The NYT did no better in “California Braces for Unending Drought“, May 2016. The closest the article comes to supporting their headline is an odd statement by Governor Brown: “But now we know that drought is becoming a regular occurrence…” Drought has always been a regular occurrence in California. The governor also said that “California droughts are expected to be more frequent and persistent, as warmer winter temperatures driven by climate change reduce water held in the Sierra Nevada snowpack and result in drier soil conditions.” That is probable. But it is quite mad for the NYT to call more frequent droughts “an unending drought.”
By Bark Gomez and Yasemin Saplakoglu, Bay Area News Group
Sacramento >> On the heels of what is becoming one of the wettest rainfall seasons ever recorded in California, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday rescinded the drought emergency order he signed in 2014 while signaling new legislative efforts to maintain water conservation measures.
“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said in a statement. “Conservation must remain a way of life.”
Brown is making permanent the bans on wasteful water practices, like hosing off sidewalks, and requiring water agencies to continue to report their water use every month to the state.
At the same time, state agencies Friday announced a long-term plan to better prepare California for future droughts with continued water conservation efforts. The framework requires new legislation to establish long-term water conservation measures and improved planning for more frequent and severe droughts.
“This framework is about converting Californians’ response to the drought into an abiding ethic,” California Department of Water Resources acting Director Bill Croyle said in a statement. “Technically, the drought is over, but this framework extends and expands our dry-year habits. Careful, sparing use of water from backyards to businesses and farm fields will help us endure the next inevitable drought.”
Brown’s executive order lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies, according to the governor’s release.