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California expands its state of emergency to deal with massive drought

A massive drought has hit California. So the state is working to keep people safe

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California extended a state of emergency.

Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif. California is set to get its first significant soaking of the season this week, with forecasters predicting up to 7 inches of rain is possible in some parched parts of the state.

Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has expanded a state of emergency to deal with the state’s worsening drought conditions.

  • “As the western U.S. faces a potential third year of drought, it’s critical that Californians across the state redouble our efforts to save water in every way possible,” Newsom said in a statement.
  • He added, “With historic investments and urgent action, the state is moving to protect our communities, businesses and ecosystems from the immediate impacts of the drought emergency while building long-term water resilience to help the state meet the challenge of climate change impacts making droughts more common and more severe.”

The state of emergency plan allows that State Water Resources Control Board to ban wasteful water uses and booster conservation efforts as the drought conditions continue.

  • Eight counties were added to the drought state of emergency, including Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco and Ventura counties.

The decision comes after California experienced its second driest year in history, according to The New York Times.

  • In fact, a report by the California Department of Water Resources group said that the 2021 water year was the driest since 1924 with just under 12 inches of rain and snow from October 2020 to September 2021.

Per The New York Times, the drought conditions make it more possible for wildfires to spread and cause damage across the West.

  • “Severe drought conditions, worsened by climate change, continue to affect much of the western United States and even the Northern Plains, causing headaches for farmers and ranchers and setting the stage for large wildfires to easily spread,” per The New York Times.