SAN FRANCISCO – The Latest on California's drought conservation measures (all times local):
Gov. Jerry Brown is ordering California to permanently follow some conservation measures taken during the state's drought.
Brown's order on Monday came as water officials considering whether to ease a 20 percent conservation order for cities and towns. The order does not set a mandatory percentage for saving water.
Brown's executive order requires cities and towns to continue monthly reporting of water use. In addition, bans on overwatering lawns will become lasting.
Brown's executive order also requires better drought planning from cities and farmers.
The state is also required to prepare emergency water restrictions for 2017 in case the five-year drought persists.
Drought-stricken California was set Monday to announce new conservation measures after a welcome rainy winter in parts of the state.
State water officials could ease conservation rules that initially called for a 25 percent savings and were later eased to 20 percent.
The latest call for changes came after El Nino storms left a healthy snowpack and brimming water reservoirs in Northern California.
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 Gov. Jerry Brown imposed the conservation mandate.
The conservation orders apply to cities and water districts supplying most of the state's nearly 40 million people.
California last year marked its driest four-year stretch in history.
The winter El Nino storms brought near-normal snow and rainfall to Northern California, filling major reservoirs. The storms largely missed Southern California, however, and overall nearly 90 percent of the state remains in drought.
The easing drought has prompted many water districts to say they want to set their own conservation targets. Others say the state should completely drop the drought emergency.
Officials, however, say the bruising drought has not ended, and nobody knows how much rain and snow will fall next winter.
Any changes proposed on Monday would likely go before the State Water Resources Control Board on May 18.