California Today: Drought’s Over, Right? Not So Fast, State Says
Credit Max Whittaker for The New York Times
LOS ANGELES — The Hollywood Reservoir is nestled in a basin surrounded, usually, by dusty brown hillsides, broken up by the occasional dry wisp of shrubbery. Not these days. After yet another burst of rain the other day, the hills were transformed into lush fields of knee-high grass, spotted with purple flowers. And the reservoir? As high as it has been in years.
In Northern California, snow could be seen on top of Mount Diablo outside San Francisco last weekend. Across the state, dams are under siege and reservoirs are overflowing. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada — a source of water once winter ends and the dry months settle in — was nearly twice its normal level last week. (And that was before even more snow arrived.)
Yet for all that, California is, at least officially, still in a drought state of emergency. That has been the case since Jan. 17, 2014, when Gov. Jerry Brown issued the order after one of the driest years in California history.
So when will California declare the drought over?
We asked state water officials to respond to that and other questions Californians may have.
To read their answers, click here.