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California has entered fourth year of drought, water experts say



IRVINE >> State water officials are preparing for the fourth straight year of drought and are readying more restrictive water conservation measures under an extension of the governor’s water emergency plan.

Rainfall, snowpack and runoff estimates are way below average, indicating the state will continue in drought-emergency mode throughout the year, state and regional water experts told a gathering of 120 water managers Wednesday at a forum sponsored by the Southern California Water Committee and the National Water Research Institute.

While water agencies and cities have pushed conservation in 2013 and 2014, including more uses for recycled water for irrigating ball fields and golf courses, the missing ingredient is rain water, said Grace Chen, manager of resource planning and development for Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

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