The San Diego County Water Authority's board of directors today (January 26) declared that the drought is over. The board urged governor Jerry Brown and the State Water Resources Control Board to rescind statewide emergency water-use regulations for areas of the state no longer in drought conditions, such as San Diego.
Heavy local rainfall, record-setting precipitation in the Northern Sierra, and a very good snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin convinced the county water authority board to call an end to the drought.
As of January 23, San Diego's official rainfall measurement station at Lindbergh Field had recorded 172 percent of average rainfall since the start of the water year on October 1. The water content of snow in the Sierra Nevada was 193 percent of normal as of January 23. Snowpack levels in the upper region of the Colorado River were 161 percent of average.
Telling citizens they have to conform to emergency conditions when the conditions no longer exist hurts the credibility of water officials, says Mark Muir, chairman of the water authority's board. On the other hand, some scientists believe the drought could last decades and calling an end to it after a few months of above-average rainfall may breed apathy.