LOS ANGELES -- After the wettest winter in years helped curtail the state's extreme drought, emergency water restrictions are being lifted for nearly 7 million Southern Californians.
Since June 2022, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California had required residents in its service area to either limit outdoor watering to one day a week, or live within certain limits on volume.
Those applied to water agencies that served almost one-third of the region's residents, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and some utilities in Ventura County, the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire.
Now that emergency measure has been rescinded.
Still the move came with warnings: California is not fully out of drought conditions and concerns remain about future water supplies.
"Southern California remains in a water supply deficit," said Tracy Quinn, chair of the MWD's One Water Committee. "The more efficiently we all use water today, the more we can keep in storage for a future dry year."
"And as we face climate whiplash, dry conditions could return as soon as next year.Metropolitanis committed to helping residents save water through our expansive rebate and incentive programs."
The six water agencies that were included in the original order can be found here.
In addition, while MWD is removing its emergency measure, local agencies such as the LADWP may continue to impose their own stringent restrictions on watering and other activities.
The emergency measures were put in place last year after the state of California said it would only be able to deliver limited supplies through the State Water Project, which transports water from Northern California to SoCal.
The happened after the state saw its three driest years in its history from 2020 to 2022, according to the MWD.
But this winter's series of blizzards and atmospheric rivers have helped restore the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and refilled depleted reservoirs, leading to a large allowance from the State Water Project.
Downtown Los Angeles has seen nearly two feet of rain this winter, making it the 14th wettest in 140 years of records, according to the National Weather Service.
And it's not over yet. This week's atmospheric river brought at least two inches to downtown and more rain is in the forecast for next week.