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California Loosens Water Cutbacks In Drought

Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio

Sprinklers water a lawn in Carmichael.

Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio

(AP) - California water managers say they're easing cutbacks as spring storms boost reservoirs in the state's five-year drought.

The state Department of Water Resources announced Thursday it will provide its clients with 60 of the water they requested this year. It's the fourth such increase in recent months, starting in December at 10 percent.

Water managers say March storms soaked Northern California, nearly filling key reservoirs.

The state provides water to two-thirds of California's nearly 40 million people and roughly 1 million acres of farmland.

Officials say, however, that Southern California and San Joaquin Valley reservoirs remain low; it will take several years to recover from the recent dry spell, and California remains in drought.

Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin urges residents to conserve, helping to stretch water supplies.