Rain helps Calif. drought; next challenge is water retention
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() — California is trying to dry out from weeks and weeks of rain, wind, snow and flooding.

“I joked to everybody, I said ‘Hey, we lived on an island for a day and a half,’” Soquel resident Gary Tritt said on “ Live.”

Parts of the state are still under emergency orders, but there has been an upside to the wet weather — less drought conditions. Because the water has helped ease some of the crippling drought Californians have had to deal with for years, some are wondering why the state hasn’t done more to preserve it.

On Wednesday, thanks to record rainfall that’s slammed Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District officially lifted emergency restrictions it imposed last year at the height of the drought.

However, as has been seen in past wet seasons, this rain might still not be enough to fully combat dry weather. Despite the fact that the rainfall seen in the state so far has been twice the average amount for this point in the year, the Metropolitan Water District says Southern California is still under a “water alert.”

That goes for much of the rest of the state as well, which has people wondering why leaders haven’t built more water storage facilities.

Back in 2014, California voters approved nearly $8 billion to fund new water projects. A large portion of it was to build these water stockpile facilities.

Now, nearly 10 years later, though, none of the seven proposed projects have been built. There are a number of environmental restrictions and political hurdles hindering them.

Also, according to experts, new water retention plants are very expensive and challenging to build.
Even so, officials say they’re working to find the additional money to get these projects done.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, back in August, pledged the state would make water storage a priority.

“We can’t do the same damn thing anymore,” Newsom said. “We’re so deeply anxious because we’ve been consistently in the scarcity mindset, that it’s about reduction…People feel we’ve done enough. We have to move out of that mindset because there’s a lot more abundance out there if we’re more creative in how we approach things.”

To that end, Newsom has pledged another $8 billion from the state’s record surplus to help get these long-standing projects off the ground. He also pointed to an additional $10 billion that will be available to California as part of President Joe Biden’s infrastucture bill.

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