Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Calif. governor declares drought emergency

SACRAMENTO, Calif . — California Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency in the state Friday, urging residents to cut water use by 20 percent and directing state agencies to take a range of steps to ease the effects of water shortages on agriculture, communities and fish and wildlife.

"We ought to be ready for a long, continued, persistent effort to restrain our water use," Brown said at a San Francisco news conference. He warned that Californians may be facing unprecedented dry conditions and need to become "more efficient and more elegant" in how they use natural resources.

Brown's drought proclamation follows California's driest year on record and comes amid dropping reservoir levels and no sign of relief.

Some Northern California communities dependent on shrinking local supplies have already imposed rationing and others are asking residents to eliminate outdoor watering. Many Central Valley irrigation districts are warning growers to expect severe delivery cuts this spring and summer.

Some parts of the state are in a better position to deal with the drought than others. Thanks to long-term conservation efforts and the development of large regional storage facilities in Southern California, water managers do not expect to impose rationing in the region this year.

Politicians and agricultural interests who have urged Brown to declare an emergency welcomed the action as an important tool for coping with the unrelenting parched conditions.

"Farmers across California face wrenching decisions today, as well as in coming months," Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation, said in a statement. "Will they have enough water to plant crops, to water their livestock, and keep trees and vines alive?"

The detailed, 20-point drought declaration calls on California agencies to launch a statewide conservation campaign, expedite voluntary water transfers by rights holders to districts in need of supplies, and hire additional seasonal firefighters this year to respond to elevated wildfire risk. The last statewide drought declaration was in 2009.

No water can be seen at Black Butte Lake near Orland Buttes Recreation Area after California’s driest year on record.

Associated Press

No water can be seen at Black Butte Lake near Orland Buttes Recreation Area after California’s driest year on record.

Calif. governor declares drought emergency 01/17/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 17, 2014 11:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators

    National

    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.