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MONDAY ESSENTIALS: There's a Drought, Are You Prepared?

Governor Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency. He's calling on all residents to conserve. Find out what to do or how much your using.

Graphic from the National Weather Service. The areas in red show extreme drought. The orange shows severe drought. Nearly 63 percent of the state is in the red.
Graphic from the National Weather Service. The areas in red show extreme drought. The orange shows severe drought. Nearly 63 percent of the state is in the red.

With Governor Jerry Brown announcing a statewide drought emergency last week, now is a good time to check home water use.

Check out the Metropolitan Water District website that offers tips on how to cut your water use.

Californians are also encouraged to check out the Save Our Water site to find even more ways to save water. It includes a helpful water usage calculator

The drought emergency announcement was officially posted on Jan. 17 on the state's website

“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,” Governor Brown said through the released statement. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.”

This has been a record dry year for the state. Only an inch of measurable rain has fallen so far in January; A month that typically sees at least three inches. And little is forecast in the remaining 11 days, according to National Weather Service officials.

“There is an increased risk of below average rainfall through April,” NWS officials wrote recently. “Drought impacts are becoming more widespread.”

Among the affects, dry vegetation increase the risk for wildfires such as the recent Colby Fire in Glendora that destroyed structures and forced hundreds from their homes.

As part of the emergency proclamation, Governor Brown has directed state officials to assist farmers and communities economically impacted by dry conditions and to ensure the state can respond if Californians face drinking water shortages, according to officials.

The emergency proclamation also allows Brown to direct state agencies to use less water, hire more firefighters and initiated a greatly expanded water conservation public awareness campaign.

In addition, the proclamation gives state water officials more flexibility to manage supply throughout California under drought conditions, officials wrote.

Click here to read the governor’s entire announcement. To see a larger version of the drought monitor graphic, click here.

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