California regulators take unprecedented control of the water supply

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Despite weeks of rain and a growing perception that the California drought is dead or dying, state officials Wednesday largely extended the water regulations that have become the new normal in cities and towns throughout the state.

The rainy season that began in October is still far from over, and little is guaranteed when it comes to weather, regulators argued, adding that the Sierra snowpack that has built up to 154 percent of normal could melt quickly come warmer weather.

The regulations impose conservation on urban suppliers and threaten fines for noncompliance. Among other rules, watering lawns within 48 hours after rainfall is prohibited. Restaurants, meanwhile, are required to ask diners if they’d like a glass of water before serving it.

In an hours-long meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board, dozens of people opposed to the regulations said they had become unnecessary and damaging to public trust, given all the rain that’s fallen. But the board was unanimous.

Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle

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