Drought emergency continues for California

Water board keeps restrictions in place

A drought emergency continues for the State of California.
 
State officials met Wednesday to discuss lifting statewide restrictions, but decided it's too soon to make the call. The existing water conservation efforts will remain in place for at least a few more months. 
 
Despite epic rainfall over the past few weeks, customers' water bills won't necessarily go down. 
 
 
Vern VanSydow and his wife went from a yard full of grass to a water-conscious home.
 
"We went there about three years ago and it was a little bit of an adjustment, all of a sudden the green is gone," said Vern.
 
It helped them save water and money on their bill. 
 
"Before, we were doing about every other day for about 15 or 20 minutes but nowadays its pretty restricted," he said.
 
Last month, the San Diego Water Authority declared the drought emergency was over for the county. That left many customers to think costs would go down with more water available. 
 
"We're expecting in tough times, prices go up," said Vern. "When we have a water excess and the reservoirs the prices should go down."
 
But, the Water Authority said their rates are fixed. It's the individual retail agencies that determine rates for their districts. Those rates are based off infrastructure and maintenance. 
 
"It seems like the infrastructure is there. If they need to expand the reservoirs and make new damns then I would expect an increase," Vern said. "If they decide to go that way and I would expect that I have a fair share to pay on that because they're bringing that service to us."
 
State water officials are set to meet again to reevaluate emergency drought conditions once the rainy season is over. 
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