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California Weighs Extending Drought Conservation Orders

  

(AP) - Following a welcomed parade of El Nino storms drenching drought-stricken California, state officials on Tuesday will decide whether to extend emergency conservation orders, and reveal how much water Californians saved in December.

The figures are expected to show that for a third straight month, Californians missed a mandate to use 25 percent less water. State regulators, however, say they are confident residents will meet the long-term goal that requires the savings over a nine-month period ending in February, a more important target.

Gov. Jerry Brown last year ordered Californians statewide use 25 percent less water.

The state water board will vote whether to extend the emergency drought orders through October.

Recent El Nino storms have drenched the state following its driest four-year period on record.

Officials say storms brought the snowpack to its highest level in five years, but the state's major reservoirs remain critically low.