With California’s water situation rapidly deteriorating following another dry winter, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday afternoon announced a revised drought Proclamation of Emergency that affects all of the Southland.
The proclamation extends the current statewide emergency to all Southern California counties — including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura — and San Francisco County. As a result, all 58 of the state’s counties are now covered.
Additionally, the emergency order gives the state’s water board authority to ban some wasteful practices, such as hosing sidewalks, irrigating public street medians and watering ornamental turn after a rain storm. The process to determine what’s permitted and what is not will be made by the water board.
Local water suppliers will also be directed to implement their urban water shortage contingency and agriculture drought plans. Those plans would account for a potential third straight dry year, which is entirely possible in Southern California given that La Niña conditions are forecast “to emerge shortly and continue through winter 2021-22,” according to NOAA.
The governor’s emergency proclamation would also pave the way for emergency funds to go toward water supply and delivery.
The declaration comes as California’s drought conditions worse, with approximately 87% of the state mired in extreme drought and nearly half experiencing the most severe category of exceptional drought, the latest federal drought monitor data shows.
At the same time, California’s reservoirs are heavily depleted, with many dropping to historic lows.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
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