California proclaims drought emergency

2014-01-18 11:51
Political leaders more obsessed with short-term gains are hampering the move toward policies that will protect the environment, the WWF has said. (Boris Grdanoski, AP)

Political leaders more obsessed with short-term gains are hampering the move toward policies that will protect the environment, the WWF has said. (Boris Grdanoski, AP)

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San Francisco - California's governor has proclaimed a drought emergency in the most populous US state, allowing it to seek federal aid during its third dry year.

Jerry Brown made the announcement on Friday.

The US Drought Monitor has reported extreme drought conditions in central and northern California. Precipitation in most of the state is less than 20% of normal, and reservoirs are dwindling. Forecasts suggest the dry spell could continue, exacerbating the already high fire danger.

Other states in the West also are facing dry conditions.

The proclamation allows California to request a broad emergency declaration from President Barack Obama, which would expedite some water transfers, provide financial assistance and suspend some state and federal regulations.

He spoke against the backdrop of a chart with state wide average precipitation by year dating back to 1970 and a satellite image of California in January 2013 and January 2014 side by side that showed the state's dwindling snow pack.

The US Drought Monitor has reported extreme drought conditions in central and northern California, and there has been little snowfall so far this winter.

Read more on:    us  |  weather

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