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California Drought Eases, But It's Far From Over05:38Download

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A bi-plane from Williams Ag Service flies over an unplanted rice field on May 8, 2015 in Biggs, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)MoreCloseclosemore
A bi-plane from Williams Ag Service flies over an unplanted rice field on May 8, 2015 in Biggs, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The El Nino rains have brought some relief to drought-stricken California. The U.S. Drought Monitor is reporting that the percentage of the state in exceptional drought is half of what it was at the beginning of the year - 21 percent versus 44.8 percent in January. At least one water district has decided to loosen its water usage restrictions.

But Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, says water scarcity is a chronic condition in California and the drought is far from over. He speaks with Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson about why water usage restrictions should not be lifted and residents must continue to conserve.

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This segment aired on May 5, 2016.

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