Providers warn that recent rainfall does not mean the drought is over

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
This year's rains might have ended the drought for much of California and softened the drought in Ventura County — but in the Ojai Valley it's far from being over, water providers say.
“We have to continue the conservation efforts we've been conducting for the last year and a half,” said Steve Wickstrum, general manager of the Casitas Municipal Water District (CMWD). “We can't afford to forget that water supplies are limited in our area.”
The U.S. Drought Monitor reclassified the conditions in Ventura County as D-1, or moderate, as of March 7. That's a few steps better than D-4, or exceptional, which is where we were as recently as October, the official start of the rainy season in the Ojai Valley.
To date, the rainy season has seen approximately 26 inches of precipitation fall in and around the Valley. That's good, said Ojai drought documentarian Angelo Spandrio, but not exactly great. “We have delayed our potential crisis one year,” he told the Ojai City Council in his water update March 28.

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