The Great Drought is over. Yes, it's official.
Word leaked out last Tuesday when the Metropolitan Water District's Jeffrey Kightlinger bubbled in bureaucrat-speak:
"The welcome storms this winter have eased short-term water management challenges as we continue to advance a historic long-term solution to the water system/ecosystem crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.''
In people-speak, that means there's plenty of water for current needs.
And with a torrent of expectation, Gov. Jerry Brown stepped forward the next day to announce that the water content of the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is 165 percent of normal, and reservoirs are near capacity.
He gushed: "I, Edmund G. Brown Jr., governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes of the State of California, do hereby proclaim the drought to be at an end."
Yet Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in place in Los Angeles.
"And despite a population increase of over one million people, we are now using less water today than we did 30 years ago,'' he said. "We will continue to stay the course on our current, effective conservation efforts."
So water rationing continues. Better haul out those calendars because residents at odd-numbered addresses can only irrigate their lawns on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and those in even-numbered addresses on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. And there are special rules as to what time of day to water. And folks with 1/2 or any fraction in their addresses have another watering-day rule.
An earlier set of conservation restrictions was so onerous that District 12 Councilman Greig Smith said, to heck with this, and he watered as often as needed to keep his lawn from turning tinder dry, no matter what the mayor and the Department of Water and Power (DWP) decreed. And he pushed through revisions.
But if you're not a councilman, beware, because the DWP's 'Water Conservation Team' will continue to patrol neighborhoods to enforce the water-main busting rationing schedule. If the spies catch you, violations can result in fines ranging from $100 to $600. And feuding neighbors can rat you out by calling the 1-800-DIAL-DWP hotline.
So remember as the sun bakes your greenery brown, the governor says there's plenty of water. And as your horses are thirsting, the mayor says we Angelenos are using less aqua than 30 years ago, despite a rising population.