Governor Expands Drought Emergency to 41 Total Counties
On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom expanded his recent regional drought emergency proclamation to encompass the Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and Tulare Lake Watershed counties to accelerate action to protect public health, safety, and the environment. In light of this week’s announcement, 41 counties are now under a drought state of emergency, representing 30 percent of the state’s population.
The Governor’s proclamation directs the State Water Resources Control Board to consider modifying requirements for reservoir releases and diversion limitations to conserve water upstream later in the year to maintain water supply, improve water quality, and protect cold water pools. The state of emergency also enables flexibilities in regulatory requirements and procurement processes to mitigate drought impacts and directs state water officials to expedite review and processing of voluntary transfers of water, enabling available water to flow where it is needed most.