A PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY


“WHEREAS the State of California is experiencing record dry conditions, with 2014 projected to become the driest year on record; and

WHEREAS the state’s water supplies have dipped to alarming levels, indicated by: snowpack in California’s mountains is approximately 20 percent of the normal average for this date; California’s largest water reservoirs have very low water levels for this time of year; California’s major river systems, including the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, have significantly reduced surface water flows; and groundwater levels throughout the state have dropped significantly; and

WHEREAS dry conditions and lack of precipitation present urgent problems: drinking water supplies are at risk in many California communities; fewer crops can be cultivated and farmers’ long-term investments are put at risk; low-income communities heavily dependent on agricultural employment will suffer heightened unemployment and economic hardship; animals and plants that rely on California’s rivers, including many species in danger of extinction, will be threatened; and the risk of wildfires across the state is greatly increased; and

WHEREAS extremely dry conditions have persisted since 2012 and may continue beyond this year and more regularly into the future, based on scientific projections regarding the impact of climate change on California’s snowpack; and

WHEREAS the magnitude of the severe drought conditions presents threats beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the California Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist in California due to water shortage and drought conditions with which local authority is unable to cope.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the state Constitution and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, section 8625 of the California Government Code HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist in the State of California due to current drought conditions. […]

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 17th day of January, 2014″ (complete text here).

Image 1 for article titled "A PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY"
U.S. surface soil moisture as of January 6, 2014. Wetness percentiles are relative to the period 1948-2009. The surface layer is defined as the top 2 centimeters of soil (map based on data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment [GRACE] satellites)

Image 2 for article titled "A PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY"
California drought monitor – drought conditions (percent area) as of January 14, 2014 (Eric Luebehusen, U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Image 3 for article titled "A PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY"
U.S. drought monitor – drought conditions (percent area) as of January 14, 2014 (Ibid.)

Image 4 for article titled "A PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY"
U.S. seasonal drought outlook for December 19, 2013 – March 31, 2014 (Rich Tinker, Climate Prediction Center, NOAA)