California Drought Could Affect Santa Clarita If Conditions Persist
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency and asked all state officials to take necessary precautions for drought conditions Friday morning.
Brown’s announcement comes after the driest year recorded in California’s history.
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This did not come as a surprise, said Dan Masnada, general manager at Castaic Lake Water Agency.
“I’d like to think we are going to see some rain and snow before this season is over, if we don’t that will truly be a crisis we’ve never seen before in this state, not in this valley, in the state,” Masnada said.
Brown is requesting state officials assist farmers and communities economically affected by water shortages and all state agencies use less water, hire more firefighters and initiate an expanded water conservation public awareness campaign.
“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,” Brown said in a statement. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.”
Outdoor landscaping accounts for 60-70 percent of all water usage in Santa Clarita, Masnada said.
“Inspite of all the messaging we have done over the years, people tend to over irrigate,” he said. “People can easily cut back 10 - 20 percent.”
Related article: Driest Year On Record Prompts Low Water Allocation For CLWA
Masnada said there is no limit to how long this declaration may last, as that is determined by mother nature, but that because of Santa Clarita Valley’s water portfolio, the valley should have enough supplies to meet demands this year.
Statewide water content is about 20 percent of normal average for this time of year, according to manual and electronic readings.
In December, Brown formed a Drought Task Force to determine whether conditions could merit a drought and review California’s preparedness for water scarcity.
Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, issued the following statement about the declaration of a drought State of Emergency.
“I applaud Gov. Brown for taking immediate action, but like he said we can’t make it rain," he said. "This drought will not be California’s last. With a hotter and drier future we can’t duplicate water policies of the 20th century to address challenges of the 21st. We need to be resourceful and create new water supplies with cost effective, sustainable strategies.”
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