California Governor Declares Drought State of Emergency
Gov. Brown calls for conservation statewide, directs state to manage water for drought
With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. proclaimed a state of emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions.
"We can't make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California's drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas," Brown said. "I've declared this emergency and I'm calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible."
In the state of emergency declaration, Brown directed state officials to assist farmers and communities that are economically impacted by dry conditions and to ensure the state can respond if Californians face drinking water shortages. The governor also directed state agencies to use less water and hire more firefighters and initiated a greatly expanded water conservation public awareness campaign (details at www.saveourh2o.org).
In addition, the proclamation gives state water officials more flexibility to manage supply throughout California under drought conditions.
State water officials say that California's rivers and reservoirs are below their record lows. Manual and electronic readings record the statewide snowpack water content at about 20% of normal average for this time of year.