People, Environment

California’s Extension of Drought Restrictions Rankles Some

California’s Extension of Drought Restrictions Rankles Some
California’s Extension of Drought Restrictions Rankles Some

The US state of California’s decision to extend drought restrictions despite rain and snow has met with splash back from some waterlogged residents.

The State Water Resources Control Board voted to keep the cutbacks in place at its Feb. 8 meeting, much to the shock of Californians grappling with flooding, mudslides, flash floods, sinkholes and torrential downpours.

“I’m imagining they announced this while using their snorkels,” cracked Mark Larson, talk-show radio host at KCBQ-AM in San Diego, the Washington Post reported.

Republican state Sen. Ted Gaines said residents need a sanctuary from unelected bureaucrats who won’t call off the drought when people are all but having to canoe to work because of the rain.

“This decision is blind to the plain fact seen on every mountain, river and reservoir in the north state,” Gaines said in a statement. “We are flush with water, and they know that, but this lays bare their ‘permanent drought’ plan that will let them limit and control water use forever to meet their environmentalist agenda.”

For consumers, the drought restrictions have translated into higher water prices even as the state grapples with another round of devastating storms.

California Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to impose mandatory drought restrictions in April 2015 requiring local water districts to meet conservation goals has been a success: The state’s cumulative water savings from June to December registered at 22.5%.

The restrictions were set to expire Feb. 28 and the board said it would consider repealing the regulations in May.

Felicia Marcus, who chairs the state water board, said it would be “most prudent to wait a bit longer until close of the rainy season and take stock of the statewide situation and decide what to do next”.

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