Looks like things are getting a little better for people in California. Some areas in the state, like Sacramento, won't have to conserve their water as much in the coming year, thanks to new regulations that were released today by California drought regulators.
The proposal, which was made by the State Water Resources Control Board, means that there will be fewer mandates in place for some of California's fastest-growing communities, as well as those who have been recycling, desalinating, and preserving their water for the last two years.
While California is still under a drought, there are some changes. Governor Jerry Brown has ordered the update of the plan.
Many citizens were complaining, however, about having to put a halt to their lives for the reductions in water usage - some of which topped out at 36 percent. The current mandates make it around 30% for the highest levels.
“That’s a start,” said Rob Roscoe, general manager at Sacramento Suburban Water District. Water targets “in inland regions should be adjusted for climate,” he said. Sacramento Suburban is currently facing a 32 percent mandate.
There will be votes on the new guidelines in early February 2016.
According to The Sacramento Bee, the board said that easing the mandates would not be easy, nor would it be free: "Giving a break to the hottest cities, for instance, would reduce water savings by an estimated 1.4 percent statewide. So far, Californians have cut water use by 27 percent since June."
Environmentalists have said reducing things would be a mistake:
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“As long as we continue to exist in an emergency state, then we need to be pursuing this 25 percent mandatory reduction, and any of these adjustments and credits and exemptions are taking us away from that,” said environmentalist Sara Aminzadeh, executive director of the California Coastkeeper Alliance. “Now if our emergency state changes and we’re no longer in an emergency situation, then we can take some more time to develop some regulations in the long term that are workable for all areas of the state.”