As the East Bay enters a Stage 1 drought, California Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded an April 21 drought emergency proclamation to include a total of 41 counties, including Alameda, on Monday.
The counties, which make up 30% of the state population, receive water from the Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake Watershed, according to a press release from the governor’s office. The press release noted the impact of “climate change-induced early warm temperatures” on the limited amount of water in major reservoirs.
“The drastic reduction in water supplies means these reservoirs are extremely low for water users, including farmers, and fish and wildlife in the counties the drought proclamation covers,” the press release reads.
Under Newsom’s proclamation, California’s State Water Board may modify reservoir regulations to maintain the water supply later in the year and improve water quality. The press release also noted that the state of emergency allows water right holders to more quickly transfer water.
In April, Newsom’s previous proclamation urged state agencies to partner with local suppliers to promote the Save Our Water campaign. Multiple agencies have directed residents to limit the amount of water they use, with some areas adopting mandatory requirements.
“All of us need to find every opportunity to save water where we can: limit outdoor watering, take shorter showers, turn off the water while brushing your teeth or washing dishes,” said Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Agency secretary, in the press release.