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California orders emergency standards cut water use by toilets, showers

ClimateWire: California regulators passed emergency efficiency standards for toilets, faucets and other water-using appliances yesterday, a move aimed at stemming water waste as the state's historic drought grows worse. Starting in January 2016, retailers will not be allowed to sell showerheads, toilets, urinals, bathroom and kitchen faucets and other appliances that violate the new standards. Toilets can use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush, down from 1.6 gallons, and kitchen faucets will not be permitted...

Drought-stricken state gets drenched, but not enough to ease historic shortfall

ClimateWire: California got some much-needed precipitation over the weekend, but not nearly enough to ameliorate the state's persistent drought, weather and water experts said. Long-awaited storms in Northern and Southern California dumped several inches of snow and rain on parched mountains, fields and cities. Los Angeles saw its precipitation nearly quadruple over the past week. After receiving 4.24 inches of rain since Thursday, the city is now at 5.5 inches since July 2013 -- still just half its normal...