Newsom Extends Drought Emergency to Entire State of California

By Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.
October 20, 2021 Updated: October 20, 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation Tuesday to expand the state’s drought emergency to include the entire state following the second-driest year on record.

The proclamation (pdf) added the eight counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, and Ventura to include all remaining counties in the state.

“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,” Newsom said in a statement.

“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 governor’s press release noted August 2021 was the driest August on record, ending the past 12 months (recorded from Oct. 1 to Sept 30) as the second driest in the state’s recorded history.

The new order authorizes the state’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.”

Newsom’s press release also noted his state’s Comeback Plan includes $5.2 billion over three years to support drought response and water supply assistance. The package includes $815 million for emergency drought relief projects.

The proclamation follows a July executive order by Newsom calling Californians to voluntarily reduce water usage by 15 percent from the previous year to protect water reserves.

“The entire state is in a drought today, and to meet this urgent challenge we must all pull together and do our part to reduce water use as California continues to build a more climate resilient water system to safeguard the future of our state,” Newsom said.

“We’re proud of the tremendous strides made to use water more efficiently and reduce water waste, but we can all find opportunities this summer to keep more water in reserve as this drought could stretch into next year and beyond,” the governor added.

Newsom also expanded the drought state of emergency in July to include the nine counties of Inyo, Marin, Mono, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. The move brought 50 of the state’s counties into the drought emergency order.

In May, Newsom expanded the previous drought proclamation to include Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and Tulare Lake Watershed counties, moving the total to 41 counties under the emergency order.

Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.