FILE – A riverboat glides through Lake Mead on the Colorado River at Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nev. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has expanded a drought emergency declaration to a large swath of the nation’s most populated state amid “acute water supply shortages” in northern and central areas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
UPDATED 10:40 AM PT – Tuesday, May 11, 2021
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended his emergency drought declaration while adding more regions. On Monday, he expanded the order to nearly 40 counties, including Klamath River Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake Watershed counties.
Newsom originally issued the emergency declaration in late April, but said this year’s snow-pack didn’t bring enough water to hold the Golden State over. 41 counties in total are now affected by the order, which amounts to around 30 percent of California’s population.
“And so this drought proclamation should provide us flexibility so to address issues around conveyance,” stated the Democrat governor. “Working with water agreements, different water agencies, allow us more flexibility at the local and regional basis…allow us some reprieve around secret regulations and permitting resolute permitting issues.”
In the meantime, Newsom has been pushing state lawmakers to pass his plan to spend billions of dollars to bolster the state’s water resiliency and infrastructure. Additionally, he’s confident he won’t have to impose a statewide order or water conservation mandates for Californians.