Gov. Gavin Newsom Announces Ending State Water Restrictions

Requestion water allocation rate climbs to 75% – the highest since 2017

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that the state would be ending numerous water restrictions, while keeping those aimed at preserving groundwater and helping further recharge the Klamath River and Colorado River areas.

For the past several years, the drought in California has brought forward numerous measures aimed at preserving water resources. These ranged from the more local efforts of not allowing hand watering in gardens, to California’s infamous 15% conservation target cut to water usage statewide. While the measures were partially successful in reducing water usage, more cuts were expected this year as the drought was expected to continue.

However, 12 major atmospheric river and bomb cyclones hit California in the first three months of 2023. While the rain brought everything from flooding to mudslides to snow in Los Angeles, it also significantly reversed California’s water woes. Drought conditions went from covering nearly the entire state last year to falling to only covering one-third of the state this month. Many reservoirs are now quickly approaching capacity after nearly emptying out in 2022. Snowpack levels are approaching 300% when only 100% is needed by April 1st to ensure enough water reaches Californians this year. Ski season in Tahoe is now even going until July since there is so much snow there.

Continued rains this month also led many localities to end water restrictions. This including the lifting of restrictions in Southern California, allowing the first regular water usage there since July 2022. As a result, pressure was soon placed on the state to end restrictions of their own, leading to Governor Newsom’s announcement on Friday.

According to Gov. Newsom’s roll back announcement on Tuesday, the 15% conservation target cut is to end, as are many drought contingency plans. This also included boosting up California’s allocation of requested water supplies to 75%, an increase of 40% from February and the largest amount of water being allowed to be doled out by the state since 2017.

However, Newsom also stressed that a drought was still on for many parts of the state, and that areas with groundwater reliance or those areas near the still-threatened Klamath River and Colorado River will still have restrictions in place. This includes:

  • Maintaining the ban on wasteful water uses, such as watering ornamental grass on commercial properties;
  • Preserving all current emergency orders focused on groundwater supply, where the effects of the multi-year drought continue to be devastating;
  • Maintaining orders focused on specific watersheds that have not benefited as much from recent rains, including the Klamath River and Colorado River basins, which both remain in drought;
  • Retaining a state of emergency for all 58 counties to allow for drought response and recovery efforts to continue

Drought restrictions eased statewide

“We’re all in this together, and this state has taken extraordinary actions to get us to this point,” said the Governor in a speech in Yolo County on Friday. “The weather whiplash we’ve experienced in the past few months makes it crystal clear that Californians and our water system have to adapt to increasingly extreme swings between drought and flood. As we welcome this relief from the drought, we must remain focused on continuing our all-of-the-above approach to future-proofing California’s water supply.”

Newsom’s announcement was well received on Friday, but with many water experts noting that even more restrictions could have likely been pushed back even more.

“The Governor was playing it cautiously,” explained  Jack Wesley, a water systems consultant for farms and multi-family homes, to the Globe on Friday. “This is largely because a lot of people have told him that the drought isn’t over just yet. But then again those people also said January, February, and March were going to be dry too, and look how that turned out. So there is a lot we don’t know for the rest of the year, so some stay in place.”

“Of these, the restrictions around the Klamath and Colorado rivers make the most sense. They are both still very much under where they are supposed to be, so they still need help to flow right. It’s hard to argue on restrictions staying in place in those watersheds.”

“But, overall, this is just yet another sign that California is getting back to normal water-wise. It took a wild rainy three months, but even the Governor is starting to reverse his actions. That’s a very good sign.”

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe


  1. Another ‘no brainer’ decision from an inept governor.

  2. Woodmeister says

    Never mind approving any new dams to contain the runoff to the ocean of perfectly good water! How about pursuing desalination plants seriously, so we don’t have to go up and down on this path constantly? Aruba has a desalination plant that has been in operation since the 1930’s and their tap water is clean and drinkable!! I wouldn’t drink any water in this state until filtered. Unbelievable how we keep hiring the handicapped and never “progress”, only ideology, never true science. WE could take lessons from others in the world, instead, we think we know everything and our political elite class can never face reality and make the tough decisions and just get it done! Instead we sink billions into a train to nowhere.

  3. Bogiewheel says

    I did not read about any new water containments……Sure, we have a lot of snow and a large amount will runoff into the ocean. Same old, same old.

    Remember the water “cut-back” and the price increase to maintain the Bureaucracy life style? How many
    recieved a price reduction when water was plentiful?

  4. One year of abundant precipitation does not rectify a multi-decade problem of drought. Where are the new storage facilities? Voters approved bond issues toward that end, but they have not been built. How many more solar panels will be built on farmland that could produce food with a stable water supply?

  5. Water storage is the answer for protecting California farming. Because of limited water retention we have thousands of acres of unused farmland that could be lowering the cost of food worldwide.The environmentalists will not allow it. The Delta Smelt population must not be disturbed. I wonder how they survived all the draughts before California became populated?
    40% of the states massive budget goes to social services and 10% goes to infrastructure. Just the reverse of the early years that made California great. I wonder how that happened?
    Marxism anyone?

  6. Where are the new reservoirs? Why didn’t Newsom expand current reservoirs? We need a new governor who will redirect funds from social services to infrastructure. Will water prices ever be rolled back?

  7. It’s concerning that even with a year of ample rainfall, the drought problem that has persisted for decades remains unresolved. I wonder why there hasn’t been any progress in constructing new storage facilities, especially since bond issues were approved by voters for that very purpose. It’s disheartening to see farmland being replaced by solar panels due to a lack of stable water supply. It’s important to prioritize the creation of new storage facilities to ensure that the agricultural industry can continue to thrive while also promoting sustainable energy practices.

  8. Paul Hillar says

    All I can say is FGN and FJB! The communist left needs to quit wasting tax payer money on CRAP that doesn’t work and, I know it’s near impossible, QUIT LYING! Quit letting water flow like it’s never ending, quit being a hypocrite, quit making everyone else adhere to your commands and suffer while you do as you please! Remember the illegal trips you took out of country during the phony covid crisis, that all you commies created? Fix the infrastructure and quit treating the surplus as your own petty cash drawer, fix the damn roads!

Speak Your Mind