California is experiencing its third straight dry year and many of the state’s reservoirs are at historic lows. Brown says he won’t make water conservation mandatory, but he says it’s important to “awaken” Californians to the serious issue.
Declaring a drought expedites water transfers to allow water to flow where it is needed most. It also relaxes some water quality regulations.
As part of the declaration, the California Department of Water Resources will also identify groundwater shortages and land fallowing and provide a update by April 30.
“We are in an unprecedented very serious situation and people should pause and reflect on how dependent we are on the rain, on nature and one another.”
~Gov. Jerry Brown
Record summer heat has increased fire risk in California and the Western U.S. as drought conditions expand.
Statewide water conservation exceeded the mandatory goal in May and Sacramento reduced water use 40 percent.
In the fourth year of drought in California, sales and use of "safe and sane" fireworks are restricted in some areas, allowed in others.
A California Assembly committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would allow water districts to impose taxes on any business, industry or person who wastes water.
The drought can be blamed for a number of problems and the latest is a major decline in the duck population. A new survey shows lack of rain has led to poor habitats.