CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Gov. Gavin Newsom’s drought emergency declaration now expands to over 30% of the state.
A total 41 out of 58 counties are included because of the historic and dangerous water supply shortages.
We’re looking at not only fire danger, but also the potential of communities running out of water.
State officials have never seen our reservoirs this low.
The governor is asking state lawmakers to approve what is a record $5.1 billion over four years for water project, as well as $1 billion to help a million Californians who are behind on their water bills due to the pandemic.
The governor says the state is in a better place than it was when the last five-year drought ended in 2017.
“We are coming into this drought a little better prepared than the last time. Not only are we more prepared in terms of expertise and insight but also by the nature of the fact that 16% less water is being utilized in this state compared to this time in that first drought,” Newsom said. “We have changed our habits in this state and those are good habits and encouraging habits and that’s because Californians have taken their water use very seriously, and we are very proud of that and mindful that we need to do more.”
However, this year is unique as we have seen extra warm temperatures in April and now early May.
That led to quick melting of the Sierra Nevada snowpack that feeds the Sacramento River and in turn supplies much of the state’s water for summer.
We are also facing very dry conditions because of the little rain we have seen, so fire danger is high.
There is a Red Flag Warning in place right now for the North and East Bay hills due to high offshore winds and low humidity.
This remains in effect until 6 p.m.