“The worst drought California has ever seen” is now an official emergency

california_drought

Los Angeles, California (CNN)

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday declared a drought emergency for the state, saying it is facing “perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen since records (began) about 100 years ago.

The governor’s announcement, made in San Francisco, came as a wildfire burned Friday with only 30% containment in 1,700 acres of foothills of Los Angeles County near Glendora. An illegal campfire apparently ignited the wildfire, and fire officials cited drought conditions as contributing to the blaze.In his declaration, the governor called for voluntary “20% conservation of our water use” statewide.

“It’s important to wake all Californians to the serious matter of the drought and lack of rain,” Brown told reporters. “We are in a unprecedented, serious situation that people should pause and reflect on how we’re dependent on rain, Mother Nature and each other.”This is an effort to call for arms,” he continued. “That’s the point of the declaration.”

Brown said he would set into motion an initiative that would make water transfers easier between regions in the state.The snowpack in California’s mountains is at 20% of normal levels. The state’s largest water reservoirs are below record lows, and the major waterways, including the Sacramento and the San Joaquin rivers, flow with “significantly reduced” water.

Since 2011, extremely dry conditions have parched the state.Under the proclamation, Brown directed officials to take “all necessary actions” to address the drought, including assisting farmers and communities with water shortages. He directed state agencies to use less water and hire more firefighters.Ninety percent of California is in a severe drought, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. “This could be a giant fire year coming up,” Myers added.

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http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/article/353223/250/California-in-worst-drought-in-about-100-years

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