By Ian Schwartz

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As Northern California braces for a strong storm coming in the middle of the week, the State Water Resources Control Board is preparing for another year of drought.

The emergency water restrictions that have kept lawns around California are set to expire in February, unless the drought continues. Even with a strong El Nino pattern, there’s no guarantee we’ll get out of the worst drought California has seen in decades.

Wager agencies around the state met on Monday with many asking for the state to loosen its grip on how much residents need to cut back.

“It was very quick, the state board member knew that, they told us to hold off,” said Orange County Water District spokesman Mike Markus.

He bit his tongue when the state handed down the 25 percent statewide cutback earlier this year, but now he says it’s time to refine that order.

“We create 200 million gallons of recycled water. So we use that water to recharge our groundwater basin,” he said.

Markus believes his water district should get a credit for creating millions of gallons of drinkable water.

Water board chairwoman Felicia Marcus says board members will listen to all ideas, but everyone must keep in mind that a few rainstorms won’t fix the problem. She points to what happened in Australia after several dry years.

“They had a little bit of rain and thought ‘Whew, we dodged a bullet,’ and then they had the three worst years yet, then they had to spend billions of dollars, with tremendous dislocation and no outdoor watering,” she said.

No decisions will be made on water cutbacks until next year. Monday’s meeting was to get concerns out in the air.