California in 'Worst Drought in 100 Years': Governor

Meteorologists predict drought will last at least 3 more months
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2014 1:00 PM CST
California in 'Worst Drought in 100 Years': Governor
Gov. Jerry Brown declares a drought state of emergency while speaking in San Francisco, Jan. 17, 2014.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for California today, over what the governor called "perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen" in the roughly 100 years the state has been keeping records. Brown asked all residents to voluntarily cut back their water usage by 20%. "It's important to wake all Californians to the serious matter of the drought," Brown said, according to CNN. "We are in an unprecedented, serious situation." He also promised an initiative to facilitate water transfers in the state.

More than 90% of California is experiencing drought conditions, and the Obama administration has already declared 27 counties "natural disaster areas." Yesterday the National Weather Service predicted that the dry conditions would drag on for at least three more months, the San Jose Mercury News reports. "We're starting to see a lot more impacts," said one meteorologist. "Groundwater issues, low snowpack, less forage available for cattle grazing." Probably the most visible impact is a 1,700-acre wildfire in the foothills of LA that's still only 30% contained. (More California stories.)

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