Startlingly green hills, surging rivers and the snow-wrapped Sierra Nevada had already signaled what Gov. Jerry Brown made official Friday: The long California drought is over.
Brown issued an executive order that lifts the drought emergency in all but a handful of San Joaquin Valley counties where some communities are still coping with dried-up wells.
He also made it clear that the need for conservation is not going away.
“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said in a statement. “Conservation must remain a way of life.”
Five years of relentlessly sunny winter weather took a toll on California. In a move that showed the seriousness of the threat, Brown ordered a statewide 25% cut in urban water use, and Californians came close to meeting it by taking shorter showers, flushing less and accepting it when restaurants did away with the once obligatory glass of …