Lake County News,California – Governor declares regional state of emergency for Russian


At Lake Mendocino in Mendocino County, California, on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new actions to address 2021’s drought conditions. Photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office.

NORTH COAST, Calif. – With much of the West experiencing drought conditions and California squarely in a second consecutive dry year, Gov. Gavin Newson on Wednesday directed state agencies to take immediate action to bolster drought resilience and prepare for impacts on communities, businesses and ecosystems if dry conditions extend to a third year.

In addition, the governor proclaimed a regional drought emergency for the Russian River watershed in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, where reservoirs are at record lows following two critically dry years and accelerated action may be needed to protect public health, safety and the environment.

“California is facing the familiar reality of drought conditions, and we know the importance of acting early to anticipate and mitigate the most severe impacts where possible,” Gov. Newsom said. “Climate change is intensifying both the frequency and the severity of dry periods. This ‘new normal’ gives urgency to building drought resilience in regions across the state and preparing for what may be a prolonged drought at our doorstep.”

The text of today’s emergency proclamation can be read below.

With an extremely low Lake Mendocino as a backdrop, the governor on Wednesday announced that he is directing state agencies to work with regional and local governments – including groundwater sustainability agencies – to identify watersheds, communities, public water systems and ecosystems that may require coordinated state and local actions to address drought impacts and protect people, natural resources and economic activity.

To encourage Californians to reduce water use and conserve supplies in case drought conditions continue next year, the proclamation also directs state agencies to partner with local water suppliers to promote conservation tips and messages through the Save Our Water campaign.

The campaign and website were critical resources for Californians during the 2012-2016 drought and remain a trusted information source on using water wisely.

The proclamation directs additional actions to coordinate with California Native American tribes; accelerate funding for water supply enhancement, conservation and species protection projects; work with counties to encourage and track reporting of household water shortages including dry residential wells; provide technical and financial assistance for water systems at risk of water shortages; support the agricultural economy and food security; and evaluate and take action to protect terrestrial and aquatic species.

To address acute drought impacts in the Russian River watershed, the proclamation directs the State Water Board to consider modifying requirements for reservoir releases or diversion limitations to ensure adequate supplies for critical purposes.

The regional state of emergency also enables flexibilities in regulatory requirements and procurement processes to mitigate drought impacts.

Under the governor’s direction, state agencies have been working together since November to prepare for continued dry conditions.

The governor recently formalized that coordination through the Drought Resilience Task Force, which includes the Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Food and Agriculture, Department of Water Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife, State Water Resources Control Board, Department of Finance, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, California Health and Human Services Agency, California Public Utilities Commission and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

4.21.21 Drought Proclamation by LakeCoNews on Scribd



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