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Drought rules won’t be lifted by state

With record snow in Mammoth and more rain than California residents have seen in 5 years, some water districts asked the state to lift emergency drought regulations on Wednesday, but the water resources board declined to do so.

The Water Resources Control Board chose not to lift water conservation restrictions because parts of the state still need more water to fill reservoirs.

Ray Stokes of the Central Coast Water Authority applauded the move.

“Here in Santa Barbara County we are not the most extreme category but the one just below that,” said Stokes.

Water district management in Montecito, Goleta and Santa Barbara County are urging customers to keep conserving.

Sage Parker of Santa Barbara said, “We can’t be too cautious because if we think with all this rain we are done we are going to get in trouble again.”

Ray Stokes agrees. “Lake Cachuma is only 15 percent of capacity so we are long ways away from being out of the drought,” said Stokes.

State water regulations will be revisited at a meeting in May.

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