December Rains Eased But Didn’t End California Drought, Officials Say

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California officials say that December storms have allowed the state to send more water to local agencies and farms even as drought conditions stretch into a fourth year.

Water officials said Thursday they plan to provide 15 percent of the water requested from the state’s vast reservoir system. That will be the second lowest distribution on record after officials met only 5 percent of need last year.

The State Water Project serves 25 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland.

State Water Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus says dry conditions are just as dire as they were last year. The new year has brought little rain in what’s normally the wettest month of the season.

A separate federal forecast released Thursday shows drought conditions continuing through April in much of California.

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