California Governor Gavin Newsom has decided to add more counties to the state’s drought emergency declaration as a new heatwave is scorching much of the western US.
Newsom on Thursday declared the new emergency order for nine more counties during a press conference held in front of a drying lake in San Luis Obispo County on the Central Coast of California, making the drought official in 50 of the state’s 58 counties, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Governor said about 42 per cent of California’s population now are in counties that will fall under the guidelines and requirements set for a drought emergency.
The Golden State is home to over 40 million residents.
Newsom urged residents to voluntarily reduce water consumption.
“We are hopeful that people will take that mindset brought into the last drought and extend that forward with a 15 per cent voluntary reduction not only on residents, but industrial, commercial operations and agricultural operations," he noted.
In response to the dry conditions affecting the state, Newsom had declared a drought emergency in two Northern California counties in April and significantly expanded the emergency proclamation to 41 of the state’s 58 counties in May.
“The hots are getting hotter and the dries are getting drier - that is the reality of climate change," said a tweet from Newsom’s office.
“During the last drought, we made water conservation a way of life and we can do it again," the office added, noting that “Californians can step up again by voluntarily reducing water usage by 15 percent, saving 850,000 acre-feet of water - enough to supply more than 1.7 million households for a year".