California water regulators propose relaxing conservation standards for some cities

FILE - In this May 18, 2015 file photo, irrigation pipes sit along a dried irrigation canal on a field farmed by Gino Celli, who relies on senior water rights to water his crops, near Stockton, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

State regulators say they're considering relaxing conservation targets that have required some California communities to cut use by 25 percent during historic drought.

Max Gomberg of the State Water Resources Control Board said Monday that inland communities in hot regions and those that use new sources, such as recycled water and new desalination plants, could be eligible for lowered conservation requirements.

He says that that the state's overall water conservation target could drop to about 22 percent if all the eligible water agencies apply for adjustments.

California is in a historic four-year drought.

Gov. Jerry Brown this year ordered residents statewide to cutback by one-quarter with each community given an individual target.

Communities that have invested in new water sources to protect them in drought say their strict conservation targets are not fair.