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California’s drought is only getting worse

| June 23, 2014

Since January, California had faced severe drought conditions throughout the state. And despite statewide efforts to conserve water, the situation is only getting worse, as a third of the state now deals with “exceptional” drought conditions.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in January, setting a goal for communities to cut water usage by 20 percent. On April 25, Brown released another emergency proclamation, adding protections to fish endangered by the conditions and allowing local governments to limit outdoor watering.

Drought

Drought conditions have led to a state of emergency in California. From David McSpadden.

But it seems as if residents aren’t totally heeding Brown’s advice.

According to a state survey that polled water suppliers to measure Californians’ response to the drought, water usage has been cut by about 5 percent through May. However, some communities, especially those around the Bay Area, had about 1 to 2 percentage cuts.

The report also showed that the communities most affected by the conditions were most likely to take action and conserve water.  Over 90 percent claimed to have a drought or water shortage plan in place, and a majority had turned to their respective plans during the drought.

Since the response rate stood at 61 percent, some said that the survey did not accurately reflect the actions taken during the drought. The survey, meanwhile, suggests that the responses “represented 25 million retail customers” across the state.

So far this year, firefighters have responded to over 1,000 wildfires in the state, a number double that of an average year, The Fresno Bee reported. And the fires have taken their toll on the state. Recent fires have resulted in property losses and costs that total nearly $60 million, according to the Associated Press.

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Category: Conservation

About the Author ()

Born and raised on the East End of Long Island, Michael quickly learned to escape to New York City. He studies literature and linguistics, considers himself a cinephile and coffee addict, and follows political campaigns religiously. When he's not refreshing SCOTUSblog, he's probably eating or editing (or attempting both at the same time). He is proudly left-handed.

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