LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown wants water conservation to become a way of life in California, even as water officials consider easing strict saving measures after a rainy winter in parts of the state.
State water officials were expected Monday to propose revising conservation rules that initially called for a 25 percent savings and were later eased to 20 percent. Brown later issued an executive order that built on temporary statewide emergency water restrictions.
"Californians stepped up during this drought and saved more water than ever before," Brown said in a statement. "But now we know that drought is becoming a regular occurrence and water conservation must be a part of our everyday life."
The call for changes came after El Niño storms left a healthy snowpack and brimming water reservoirs in Northern California. However, Southern California remains firmly locked in a fifth year of drought.
Officials say Californians have saved a year's worth of water for 6.5 million residents since Brown imposed the conservation mandate, which applied to cities and water districts supplying most of the state's nearly 40 million people.
Monday's executive order included permanent monthly water use reporting, new permanent water use standards and bans on wasteful practices, such as hosing off sidewalks, driveways and other hardscapes.
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