Nation & World News

California’s Governor Declares Drought State Of Emergency

By Bill Chappell on January 17th, 2014

Saying that his state must take steps to plan for prolonged water shortages, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over an extended drought Friday. California faces “water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history,” according to the governor’s office.

“We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas,” Brown said. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.”

Brown is urging residents to cut their water use by 20 percent, and he’s telling state agencies to conserve water – and to hire more firefighters.

The drought emergency is being declared as some 1,100 firefighters contend with a wildfire near Glendora, Calif., where the Colby Fire has burned more than 1,800 acres since it was started early Thursday.

Some evacuation orders triggered by that blaze were lifted Friday, reports NPR member station KPCC, but it remains only 30 percent contained. You can get live updates about the fire from the station’s firetracker app.

Describing California’s plight, the governor’s office cited state officials who say rivers and reservoirs are below record lows – and the state’s snowpack is at only 20 percent of its normal average for January.

Water reserves in Southern California are better off than in the north, officials tell KPCC, due to years of efforts to build supply.

The station says Los Angeles residents might see only small changes at first:

“A spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said the agency has no plans to ration water or increase rates. But DWP does plan to begin enforcing policies that restrict outdoor watering to certain days and times.”

“If we run across people who are essentially water wasting and don’t want to make the change, they will end up being cited eventually,” L.A.’s director of water resources David Pettijohn tells KPCC.

As NPR member station KQED reports, Brown has been under pressure to declare a drought emergency “for weeks.”

The broadcaster also says Brown acknowledged today that California may need a new strategy to cope with a smaller water supply.

From KQED:

“‘I think the drought emphasizes that we do live in an era of limits and that we need solutions that are elegant,’ the governor said. He added there’s ‘a huge gap’ between the measures that may be technologically and economically feasible — steps like wider use of recycled water — and the measures now employed in the state.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi speaks during a forum on strategic planning, in Tunis, in June. Essebsi has declared a state of emergency his office says is aimed at dealing with the threat of Islamist extremists.

Week After Beach Attack, Tunisia Declares State Of Emergency

Beji Caid Essebsi’s office says the president needs the expanded powers to deal with extremists following the attack in Sousse that killed 38 foreign tourists.


Lawrence Herkimer, The Father Of Modern Cheerleading, Dies At 89

He invented the pompom and the iconic “Herkie jump” that remains a staple of cheering squads to this day. And, his National Cheerleading Association trains 150,000 cheerleaders a year.


Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks to the assembled media as he leaves his office in Athens, last week.

Greek Official: ‘Grexit’ Would Cost Europe A Trillion Euros

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says there’s as much at stake for the rest of Europe as for Greece itself should they fail to reach an acceptable bailout deal.


Artist John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence." It can be seen in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

Just A Few Important Words About The ‘Declaration Of Independence’

Along with the words and phrases that still ring out 239 years later are less noticed turns of phrase. They say a lot about the messages Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers wanted to send.


#NPRreads: The ‘Grexit,’ Video Games And Fleeing The Rwandan Genocide

Also this week, misconceptions about slavery. And, the struggle for gay Christians trying to keep the faith.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments