SAN FRANCISCO (NewsNation Now) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared an emergency executive order in two Northern California counties in response to particularly bad drought conditions there.
Wednesday’s announcement affects Mendocino and Sonoma counties.
It comes as California is expected to face another devastating wildfire season after a winter with little precipitation.
He appeared at Lake Mendocino for the announcement, in a lake bed that should have been full of 40 feet of water.
The state Department of Water Resources says this is the fourth driest year on record statewide, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state.
Newsom noted that three-quarters of the Western United States are in what’s called a megadrought.
In the Bay Area, meteorologists predicted rain will come in the final weekend of April – but the damage is done.
Marin County, for example, is already under a severe drought and has announced some water-use restrictions on Wednesday.
The statewide actions, announced at noon on Wednesday, will “bolster our resilience to drought & support vulnerable communities, local economies and ecosystems,” the governor’s office said.
Read the full drought proclamation