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Environment

California Water Resource Director Expects Governor To Declare Drought

The director of the California Department of Water Resources said that he believes Gov. Jerry Brown likely will declare a drought. Mark Cowin made the comments to the state Board of Food and Agriculture on Tuesday.

Water managers painted a bleak picture for the board of the dry conditions and low reservoir levels around the state. Cowin said that all signs point to a drought.

“My belief is that we will have a drought proclamation. The signs are pretty clear at this point. The remaining question is, 'What do we need to put in that drought proclamation that will actually beyond the messaging help us deal with the impending crisis?'"

Cowin also added that a proclamation would likely come on Feb. 1, which is the date of the next snow survey. A drought proclamation would make it easier to relax water quality standards and streamline water transfers.

Water districts in the San Joaquin Valley said they expect hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland to remain fallow this year.