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Gov. Newsom extends drought emergency, adds 8 counties

Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a proclamation extending the drought emergency.

Posted: Oct 19, 2021 6:04 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2021 10:39 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation extending the drought emergency statewide and further urging Californians to conserve water as the western U.S. faces a potential third dry year.

The proclamation enables the State Water Resources Control Board to ban wasteful water practices, including the use of potable water for washing sidewalks and driveways.

Gov. Newsom issued an executive order in July calling on Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15% compared to 2020 to protect water reserves and complement local conservation mandates. In August, California reduced urban water use by 5% compared to 2020, according to the Board.

“As the western U.S. faces a potential third year of drought, it’s critical that Californians across the state redouble our efforts to save water in every way possible,” Gov. Newsom said. “With historic investments and urgent action, the state is moving to protect our communities, businesses, and ecosystems from the immediate impacts of the drought emergency while building long-term water resilience to help the state meet the challenge of climate change impacts making droughts more common and more severe.”

The proclamation adds the eight counties not previously included in the drought state of emergency including: 

  • Imperial
  • Los Angeles
  • Orange
  • Riverside
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Ventura

The proclamation requires local water suppliers to implement water shortage contingency plans for local conditions.

California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, and August of this year was the driest and hottest August on record since reporting began, according to the Governor's Office.

The proclamation issued today authorizes the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to provide assistance and funding under the California Disaster Assistance Act to support the emergency response and delivery of drinking water and water for public health and safety.

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