Gov. Jerry Brown ordered California to permanently follow some conservation measures taken during the state's drought.
Brown's order on Monday came as water officials considering whether to ease a 20 percent conservation order for cities and towns. The order does not set a mandatory percentage for saving water.
Any changes proposed on Monday would likely go before the State Water Resources Control Board on May 18.
Brown's executive order requires cities and towns to continue monthly reporting of water use. In addition, bans on overwatering lawns will become lasting. Brown's executive order also requires better drought planning from cities and farmers.
The state is also required to prepare emergency water restrictions for 2017 in case the five-year drought persists.
Southern California remains firmly locked in a fifth year of drought after El Nino-fueled storms remained to the north during the winter months. The storms brought near-normal snow and rainfall to Northern California, filling major reservoirs.
Overall nearly 90 percent of the state remains in drought.
The easing drought has prompted many water districts to say they want to set their own conservation targets. Others say the state should completely drop the drought emergency.
Officials, however, say the bruising drought has not ended, and nobody knows how much rain and snow will fall next winter.