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
A new study says California's four-year drought has reduced hydroelectricity generation, resulting in higher electricity costs to ratepayers and increased greenhouse gas pollution.
Legislation introduced in the California state Assembly would create the Lower American River Conservancy to improve, protect, preserve and possibly expand the 5,000-acre American River Parkway.
January brought above-average rainfall and snow to much of California, partly due to El Niño. But forecasters say the ocean warming condition is "taking a break" for the next week or longer.
The U.S. Drought Monitor says, other than a slight reduction in exceptional drought in the northern Sierra, it needs more time to assess impacts of the recent moisture on California's long-term drought.
California regulators have made modest adjustments to water conservation requirements for cities.