After many years, the drought in California is over at last
LOS ANGELES, California — In California, the hills are green with plants. The rivers are full of water. So it was not surprising when California's governor made a declaration last week. The long California drought is over.
Governor Brown had called a drought emergency because there was not enough water. California had not gotten much rain and snow.
Last week, Brown gave an order that ends the emergency in most of the state. Only a few places still do not have enough water.
Teaching People How To Save Water
He also said that the need for saving water continues. People should save water even if there is no drought, he said.
“The next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said.
Five years of sunny winters took a toll. People in cities were required to cut their water use. People took shorter showers and flushed less.
Farmers left some land without plants. In some towns, no water came out when people turned on the faucet. These places had to get bottled water delivered as a result.
California Did Not Suffer Too Much
Overall, though, the state was strong in the drought.
Jay Lund works at the University of California. He studies water use. California did very well, he said.
Farming is the state’s biggest water user. Even without much water, farmers did not lose money. High prices for nuts and milk helped with that.
The drought did not cause much trouble for companies. The cuts did not change much of what companies made, Lund said.
Every big drought teaches California lessons.
Rewards For Using Less Water
The last long drought was from 1987 to 1992. A huge reservoir was built in Southern California. Reservoirs hold the water that people use. This one helped to get Southern California through the drought.
Lately, there have been more water recycling programs. People also got rewarded for saving water. That slowed down water use.
Felicia Marcus works for the state of California. She had a tough job. Her job was to convince people to use less water. “In the late ’80s drought, we learned how much we can save indoors. In this drought we learned how much we can save outdoors,” she said.
Some people took out their grass. They put in plants that did not need as much water. Then, they got rewarded for using less water.
There Will Eventually Be Another Drought
People have changed how they think, Marcus said. It is not just about water. Californians changed their thinking about which plants are beautiful, she said.
Governor Brown plans to continue saving water in California. Wasteful practices such as washing driveways will not be allowed.
Marcus said it will not be the last drought. California should be prepared for the next one.