California governor declares drought emergency for some counties

California, together with wider regions in the United States, experienced the newest in a streak of dry seasons that last for years.

These arid conditions have contributed to some of the most destructive forest fires in state history and have had significant negative effects on California crops, particularly aquatic products such as almonds.

In response, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has released emergency state funding to help affected businesses, ecosystems and communities recover as the state enters its third consecutive year of drought.

Newsom acknowledged the role of climate change in the constantly dry temperatures.

“California is facing the known reality of drought conditions, and we know the importance of acting early to prevent and mitigate the most severe effects when possible,” he said. “Climate change is intensifying both the frequency and severity of drought periods. This ‘new normal’ urges us to build drought resistance in regions across the state and prepare for what may be a lasting drought on our doorstep.”

Critics of the Newsom administration’s plans to help see the state through the drought identify state funds to help increase California’s water supply and encourage public reporting on various domestic water shortages to track drought impact.

The American Secular Screen notes that most of California is experiencing “severe drought,” with some regions, particularly the southeastern and northern regions seeing both “extreme” and “exceptional” levels of drought.

Coastal districts across the state are experiencing worse conditions.

Cal Fire reports that one active fire, the Shootout, is currently burning in Mendocino County –– one of the counties identified by Newsom as suffering from regional drought. The county’s reservoirs report record low water levels in the absence of rainfall.


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