California records DRIEST January ever recorded
With scorching temperatures, Governor Jerry Brown declares drought emergency
With scorching temperatures felt mostly in Los Angeles, the state of California is en route to recording the driest January ever recorded. California Governor Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency across the state. The declaration comes amidst increased water rates and water conservation restrictions for Los Angeles residents.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated portions of 11 drought-ridden western and central states last week as primary disaster areas.
It's one of the driest winters on record across the state, following two dry years that already have left many reservoirs depleted. The state is facing "perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen" since records began, Brown said last week.
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"I've called for a collaborative effort to restrain our water use," Brown said. "This is a call to arms. This is not a partisan adversary, this is Mother Nature."
The announcement will now enable California to request a broad emergency declaration from President Barack Obama. The federal declaration would expedite some water transfers, provide financial assistance and suspend some state and federal regulations. It also allows Brown to call for involvement from the National Guard.
"If some communities run out of water, we could task the National Guard to deliver it," Mark Ghilarducci, the state's emergency services director said.
The governor referred to charts at the news conference that showed statewide average precipitation by year dating back to 1970. A satellite image of California in January 2013 and January 2014 side by side revealed the state's dwindling snowpack.
The administration is considering a mandatory conservation order, Brown said. "I think the drought emphasizes that we do live in an era of limits, that nature has its boundaries," Brown said.
The U.S. Drought Monitor has reported extreme drought conditions in central and northern California, and there has been little snowfall so far this winter. Rainfall in most of the state is less than 20 percent of normal with reservoirs dwindling. Forecasts suggest the dry spell could continue, exacerbating the already heightened fire danger.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated portions of 11 drought-ridden western and central states last week as primary disaster areas. That means eligible farmers can qualify for low-interest emergency loans from the department.
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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