California Drought: Federal Government Declares 27 Counties as “Natural Disaster Areas”

State and federal officials are beginning to take notice as California's drought emergency becomes even more dire.

On Friday, Governor Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency in California, urging residents to reduce their water use by 20% in order to better allocate water supplies in the near future. This is especially crucial considering California is set to have its driest year on record in 2014

Additionally, in an even more alarming declaration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated nearly half of California’s counties as “natural disaster areas.” Additionally, the U.S. drought monitor has labeled approximately 63% of the state as being in an “extreme drought.”  This is now the third statewide drought declaration since 1987. 

Here is the full list of counties that have been declared disaster areas.

  • Alameda
  • Alpine
  • Amador
  • Calaveras
  • Contra Costa
  • El Dorado
  • Fresno
  • Inyo
  • Kings
  • Kern
  • Los Angeles
  • Madera
  • Mariposa
  • Merced
  • Mono
  • Monterey
  • Sacramento
  • San Benito
  • San Bernardino
  • San Joaquin
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Barbara
  • Stanislaus
  • Tulare
  • Tuolomne
  • Ventura

Farmers and ranchers in the following neighboring counties will also be eligible for natural disaster assistance. 

  • Orange
  • Riverside
  • Santa Cruz
  • Sutter
  • Placer
  • San Mateo
  • Solano
  • Yolo

Marin county has reported that it recently has started to tap into its reserve water supply, showing just how dire things are in much of California. 

Read more on the drought declaration here.

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