(AP) - State regulators say they're proposing changes to water conservation requirements as they anticipate a possible fifth year of drought.
The State Water Resources Control Board this week is expected to release the draft changes to the mandate that requires communities statewide to conserve by 25 percent. California is in its driest four-year span on record.
Gov. Jerry Brown this year mandated the cutbacks through February. He has extended an executive order giving regulators authority to enforce conservation through October 2016, if drought persists this January.
Local community leaders criticize the strict measures as unfair.
The San Diego region this year completed a $1-billion seawater desalination plant, the nation's largest. San Diego's public utilities director, Halla Razak, says it's difficult telling ratepayers their investments haven't provided a buffer against drought as intended.