California water officials urge conservation amid dim outlook for improvement in drought conditions

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Outdoor watering restrictions area set to take effect in Los Angeles at the end of the month, and the prospect of an improvement in drought conditions appears dim.

Just how bad is the drought? According to state figures, the first three months of the year were the driest in the state's recorded history. California is currently in the third year of a drought.

Wade Crowfoot is the state secretary for natural resources. The one resource he oversees that we all use is water. According to his agency, the drought is getting worse, not better.

"We're experiencing changed conditions because of hotter temperatures in the winter and then hotter temperatures in the spring and summer," Crowfoot said in an interview with ABC7. "What that means is less snowpack up in the mountains that provide our water supply. And then more of that snowpack that does fall is absorbing into very dry soils or evaporating into warm air."

Crowfoot said California has not reached the point where state officials would impose water restrictions. But he wants everyone to be aware of why we're all being ask to conserve.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging Californians to find ways to reduce their water use in an effort to combat the historic drought and said upcoming conservation mandates are a priority.

So far, Angelenos have been cutting back on their water usage.

"We've done such a good job in the city of L.A. that we've reduced by 20% our water usage," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "We went from 50% residential water irrigation use down to 35%. So as long as we continue to hit those benchmarks, we should be able to get through even continuing drought for sometime to come."

And with the summer months coming which will undoubtedly be dry, officials here continue to urge you to conserve.
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