The detailed, 20-point drought declaration calls on California agencies to launch a statewide conservation campaign, expedite voluntary water transfers by rights holders to districts in need of supplies and hire additional seasonal firefighters this year to respond to elevated wildfire risk.
The proclamation allows state agencies to ease requirements for reservoir releases related to downstream water quality and directs them to monitor groundwater levels.
The declaration stops short of statewide mandatory rationing.
The last statewide drought declaration was issued in 2009 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since 1987, there have been 13 emergency proclamations, most of them for a part of the state, and three executive orders related to drought, according to the water resources department. (L.A. Times, 1/17/2014)