'No Magic Bullet:' Gov. Brown Lays Out Revised Drought Plan During State of the State | NBC Bay Area
Bay Area Drought Watch

Bay Area Drought Watch

Coverage of California's looming water problem

'No Magic Bullet:' Gov. Brown Lays Out Revised Drought Plan During State of the State

All this rain, but California still can’t shake the drought. Governor Jerry Brown laid out his revised game plan during his State of the State address. Raj Mathai reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016)

Caution was the theme of Governor Brown's State of the State address when it came to finances and our drought.

"Water goes to the heart of what California is and what it has been over centuries," Gov. Brown said. "There is no magic bullet but a series of actions must be taken."

The Governor gave no sense as to whether he would ease water restrictions in the near future; instead, he advanced his plans to deal with current and future droughts. Actions include systems for recycling water, capturing storm water and desalination.

This comes even as a new federal report released Thursday by NOAA predicts that parts of the Bay Area could lose their current drought status by April 30.

"What [the report is] saying is different areas in the Bay Area are getting more rain and that's good news, but we look at California as a whole," said Barbara Keegan, board chair of the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Keegan says the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook is more about rainfall than water supply. In areas like the Sierra, where Bay Area water supplies come from, recent rains are making a dent but El Niño won't bust the drought there.

Water experts say it will take at least three years of above average rainfall to consider ourselves drought free.

"Are we able to recharge our underground storage? Those are the kinds of things that we're concerned about. And from that perspective we still are in a drought situation," Keegan said.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District has no plans to let up on water restrictions.

East Bay Municipal Utility District says it will consider easing restrictions in April depending on snowfall levels.

State Water Resources Control Board will announce changes in water restrictions on Feb. 2.

The State probably won't ease up on conservation rules, according to public affairs director George Kostyrko, but there could be a little more flexibility for places dealing with growing populations like the Bay Area.

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