NPR

With Drought Emergency Over, Californians Debate Lifting Water Restrictions

California is expected to begin easing sweeping water use and drought restrictions after an extraordinary winter of storms. But a fierce debate rages over whether the rules should become permanent.
Winter rains have eased the drought in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area northwest of Los Angeles. Source: Kirk Siegler

As California water officials confirmed Thursday that the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada remains well above average, pressure was mounting on the state to lift emergency water restrictions that have been in place for two years.

The snowpack across the mountains is now 164 percent of average, a closely watched marker in the nation's most populous state — and biggest economy — where one-third of all the drinking water comes

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