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January 17 - Brown declares California drought emergency
Signs Of The
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday declared a drought emergency in California as the state struggles with the least amount of rainfall in its 153-year history, reservoir levels fall and firefighters remain on high alert.
"We are in an unprecedented, very serious situation," said Brown, who asked California residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20 percent. "Hopefully, it will rain eventually. But in the meantime, we have to do our part."
Although California has a Mediterranean climate and periodically experiences drought, current conditions are particularly dry.
The Sierra Nevada snowpack on Thursday was 17 percent of normal. And last year, most cities in the state received the lowest amount of rain in any living Californian's lifetime. The rainfall records go back to 1850. As a result, reservoir levels are low, farmers and ranchers are suffering, and fire danger is at an extreme level.
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