Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency Friday for California after weeks of intensifying pressure from lawmakers to take action as the state’s water reservoir levels remain strained with no rain in the forecast.
The declaration comes during one of the driest winters on record in California, following two dry years that already have left many reservoirs depleted. The state is facing “perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen” since records began, Brown said during the Friday morning announcement.
“I’ve called for a collaborative effort to restrain our water use,” Brown said. “This is a call to arms. This is not a partisan adversary, this is Mother Nature.”
The proclamation allows California to request a broad emergency declaration from President Barack Obama. The federal declaration would expedite some water transfers, provide financial assistance and suspend some state and federal regulations.