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Posted by feww on April 27, 2014



Gov Brown Issues Second Drought Emergency Proclamation for the Golden State

With California’s driest months ahead, Governor Brown has issued a second executive order in just three month to “redouble state drought actions, and has called on all Californians to redouble their efforts to conserve water,” according to the governor’s website.

“The driest months are still to come in California and extreme drought conditions will get worse,” said Brown. “This order cuts red tape to help get water to farmers more quickly, ensure communities have safe drinking water, protect vulnerable species and prepare for an extreme fire season. I call on every city, every community, every Californian to conserve water in every way possible.”

Located at the base of the Sierra foothills in Northern California’s Placer, El Dorado, and Sacramento Counties, Folsom Lake Reservoir is one of California’s most popular recreation areas with more than 2.5 million visitors annually. Releases from the reservoir, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Central Valley Project, go to the nearby American River for urban use, flood control, hydropower, fish and wildlife, and water quality purposes. USGS Image by David Pratt. 

Excerpts  From Brown’s Drought Emergency Proclamation II

Commercial establishments such as hotel and restaurants should take steps to reduce water usage and increase public awareness of the drought through measures such as offering drinking water only upon request and providing customers with options to avoid daily washing of towels or sheets.

Brown says the drought is related to global climate change, adding that conditions will continue to worsen under current fossil fuel dependency.

“We are playing Russian roulette with our environment.” Brown said.

In January, the Governor declared a drought state of emergency. Since then, the reservoirs, rainfall totals and the snowpack have remained critically low. Current statewide snowpack water content is less than 16 percent of average.

Trinity Lake is a major California reservoir with water storage capacity of 2,448,000 acre-feet. It is located about 60 miles northwest of Redding.  Photo by: Tim Reed, USGS California Water Science Center Supervisory Hydrologist; taken February 4, 2014.


Drought conditions expanded in California leaving the entire state in moderate to exceptional drought this week for the first time since U.S. Drought Monitor began collecting data 15 years ago.

  • Nearly 77 percent of the state faces Extreme to Exceptional drought, compared with 0.0 percent last year.
  • More than 96 percent of the Golden State faces severe to exceptional drought, compared with only 30 percent 12 months ago.
  • About 25 percent of California is experiencing exceptional drought, compared with 0.0 percent a year ago.

Calif drought 22apr14
California Drought Map. Source: US Drought Monitor. Map Enhanced by FIRE-EARTH Blog.

30 Percent of California Water Comes from Snowpack

Snowpack provides about a third of the water used by California’s cities and farms. As of April 25, 2014, the California statewide water content of snowpack stood at only 16% of normal for this date, and 14%  of April 1 average, according to the Department of Water Resource.

Drought causes water famine leading to crop disasters. It degrades water quality, and leads to surface and groundwater level declines, land subsidence, soil erosion, intense wildfires, humongous dust storms, and spread of disease.

Snow Water Equivalents – Statewide Summary

Provided by the California Cooperative Snow Surveys – Updated 04/25/2014 06:57PDT

Average snow water equivalent:  4″
Percent of April 1 average: 14%
Percent of normal for this date: 16%

 Drought Information

Water years 2012 and 2013 were dry statewide, especially in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Water year 2014 continues this trend.

California’s Water Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014) has been one of the driest in decades and follows two consecutive dry years throughout the state. In most years, California receives about half of its precipitation in the months of December, January and February, with much of that precipitation falling as snow in the Sierras. Only a handful of large winter storms can make the difference between a wet year and a dry one.

In normal years, the snowpack stores water during the winter months and releases it through melting in the spring and summer to replenish rivers and reservoirs. However, relatively dry weather conditions this year have reduced the amount of snowpack in California’s mountains. Each of this season’s first four snow surveys – conducted in early January, late January, late February and early April – found a statewide snowpack water equivalent (WEQ) far below average for the dates of the surveys.  —Calif. DoWR

First State of Emergency Issued in January

Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency on January 27  amid the worsening statewide drought.  He called the “really serious,” adding that 2014 could be California’s third consecutive dry year. “In many ways it’s a mega-drought.”

California State Resources

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty – with the critical phase occurring by as early as 2011.

[NOTE: The above forecast and most of the links posted below have previously been filtered/censored by Google, WordPress and others. Editor]

Related Links

The text of the latest executive order is below:


WHEREAS on January 17, 2014, I proclaimed a State of Emergency to exist in the State of California due to severe drought conditions; and

WHEREAS state government has taken expedited actions as directed in that Proclamation to minimize harm from the drought; and

WHEREAS California’s water supplies continue to be severely depleted despite a limited amount of rain and snowfall since January, with very limited snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, decreased water levels in California’s reservoirs, and reduced flows in the state’s rivers; and

WHEREAS drought conditions have persisted for the last three years and the duration of this drought is unknown; and

WHEREAS the severe drought conditions continue to present urgent challenges: water shortages in communities across the state, greatly increased wildfire activity, diminished water for agricultural production, degraded habitat for many fish and wildlife species, threat of saltwater contamination of large fresh water supplies conveyed through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta, and additional water scarcity if drought conditions continue into 2015; and

WHEREAS additional expedited actions are needed to reduce the harmful impacts from the drought as the state heads into several months of typically dry conditions; and

WHEREAS the magnitude of the severe drought conditions continues to present threats beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property continue to exist in California due to water shortage and drought conditions with which local authority is unable to cope; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8571 of the Government Code, I find that strict compliance with the various statutes and regulations specified in this proclamation would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the drought.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, including the Emergency Services Act and in particular Government Code section 8567, do hereby issue this Executive Order, effective immediately, to mitigate the effects of the drought conditions upon the people and property within the State of California.


1. The orders and provisions contained in Proclamation No. 1-17-2014, dated January 17, 2014, remain in full force and effect except as modified herein.

2. The Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) will immediately and expeditiously process requests to move water to areas of need, including requests involving voluntary water transfers, forbearance agreements, water exchanges, or other means. If necessary, the Department will request that the Water Board consider changes to water right permits to enable such voluntary movements of water.

3. Recognizing the tremendous importance of conserving water during this drought, all California residents should refrain from wasting water:
a. Avoid using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and other hardscapes.
b. Turn off fountains and other decorative water features unless recycled or grey water is available.
c. Limit vehicle washing at home by patronizing local carwashes that use recycled water.
d. Limit outdoor watering of lawns and landscaping to no more than two times a week.

Recreational facilities, such as city parks and golf courses, and large institutional complexes, such as schools, business parks and campuses, should immediately implement water reduction plans to reduce the use of potable water for outdoor irrigation.

Commercial establishments such as hotel and restaurants should take steps to reduce water usage and increase public awareness of the drought through measures such as offering drinking water only upon request and providing customers with options to avoid daily washing of towels or sheets.

Professional sports facilities, such as basketball arenas, football, soccer, and baseball stadiums, and hockey rinks should reduce water usage and increase public awareness of the drought by reducing the use of potable water for outdoor irrigation and encouraging conservation by spectators.

The Water Board shall direct urban water suppliers that are not already implementing drought response plans to limit outdoor irrigation and other wasteful water practices such as those identified in this Executive Order. The Water Board will request by June 15 an update from urban water agencies on their actions to reduce water usage and the effectiveness of these efforts. The Water Board is directed to adopt emergency regulations as it deems necessary, pursuant to Water Code section 1058.5, to implement this directive.

Californians can learn more about conserving water from the Save Our Water campaign (

4. Homeowners Associations (commonly known as HOAs) have reportedly fined or threatened to fine homeowners who comply with water conservation measures adopted by a public agency or private water company. To prevent this practice, pursuant to Government Code section 8567, I order that any provision of the governing document, architectural or landscaping guidelines, or policies of a common interest development will be void and unenforceable to the extent it has the effect of prohibiting compliance with the water-saving measures contained in this directive, or any conservation measure adopted by a public agency or private water company, any provision of Division 4, Part 5 (commencing with section 4000) of the Civil Code notwithstanding.

5. All state agencies that distribute funding for projects that impact water resources, including groundwater resources, will require recipients of future financial assistance to have appropriate conservation and efficiency programs in place.

6. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will immediately implement monitoring of winter-run Chinook salmon in the Sacramento River and its tributaries, as well as several runs of salmon and species of smelt in the Delta as described in the April 8, 2014 Drought Operations Plan.

7. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will implement projects that respond to drought conditions through habitat restoration and through water infrastructure projects on property owned or managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Department of Water Resources for the benefit of fish and wildlife impacted by the drought.

8. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with other state and federal agencies and with landowners in priority watersheds to protect threatened and endangered species and species of special concern and maximize the beneficial uses of scarce water supplies, including employment of voluntary agreements to secure instream flows, relocation of members of those species, or through other measures.

9. The Department of Water Resources will expedite the consideration and, where appropriate, the implementation, of pump-back delivery of water through the State Water Project on behalf of water districts.

10. The Water Board will adopt statewide general waste discharge requirements to facilitate the use of treated wastewater that meets standards set by the Department of Public Health, in order to reduce demand on potable water supplies.

11. The Department of Water Resources will conduct intensive outreach and provide technical assistance to local agencies in order to increase groundwater monitoring in areas where the drought has significant impacts, and develop updated contour maps where new data becomes available in order to more accurately capture changing groundwater levels. The Department will provide a public update by November 30 that identifies groundwater basins with water shortages, details remaining gaps in groundwater monitoring, and updates its monitoring of land subsidence and agricultural land fallowing.

12. The California Department of Public Health, the Office of Emergency Services, and the Office of Planning and Research will assist local agencies that the Department of Public Health has identified as vulnerable to acute drinking water shortages in implementing solutions to those water shortages.

13. The Department of Water Resources and the Water Board, in coordination with other state agencies, will provide appropriate assistance to public agencies or private water companies in establishing temporary water supply connections to mitigate effects of the drought.

14. For the protection of health, safety, and the environment, CAL FIRE, the Office of Emergency Services, the Department of Water Resources, and the Department of Public Health, where appropriate, may enter into contracts and arrangements for the procurement of materials, goods, and services necessary to quickly mitigate the effects of the drought.

15. Pursuant to the drought legislation I signed into law on March 1, 2014, by July 1, 2014, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Water Resources and Water Board, will establish and implement a program to provide financial incentives to agricultural operations to invest in water irrigation treatment and distribution systems that reduce water and energy use, augment supply, and increase water and energy efficiency in agricultural applications.

16. To assist landowners meet their responsibilities for removing dead, dying and diseased trees and to help landowners clear other trees and plants close to structures that increase fire danger, certain noticing requirements are suspended for these activities. Specifically, the requirement that any person who conducts timber operations pursuant to the exemptions in Title 14, California Code of Regulations sections 1038 (b) and (c) submit notices to CAL FIRE under the provisions of Title 14, California Code of Regulations, section 1038.2 is hereby suspended. Timber operations pursuant to sections 1038(b) and (c) may immediately commence operations upon submission of the required notice to CAL FIRE and without a copy of the Director’s notice of acceptance at the operating site. All other provisions of these regulations will remain in effect.

17. The Water Board will adopt and implement emergency regulations pursuant to Water Code section 1058.5, as it deems necessary to prevent the waste, unreasonable use, unreasonable method of use, or unreasonable method of diversion of water, to promote water recycling or water conservation, and to require curtailment of diversions when water is not available under the diverter’s priority of right.

18. In order to ensure that equipment and services necessary for drought response can be procured quickly, the provisions of the Government Code and the Public Contract Code applicable to state contracts, including, but not limited to, advertising and competitive bidding requirements, are hereby suspended for directives 7 and 14. Approval by the Department of Finance is required prior to the execution of any contract entered into pursuant to these directives.

19. For several actions called for in this proclamation, environmental review required by the California Environmental Quality Act is suspended to allow these actions to take place as quickly as possible. Specifically, for actions taken by state agencies pursuant to directives 2, 3, 6¬-10, 13, 15, and 17, for all actions taken pursuant to directive 12 when the Office of Planning and Research concurs that local action is required, and for all necessary permits needed to implement these respective actions, Division 13 (commencing with section 21000) of the Public Resources Code and regulations adopted pursuant to that Division are hereby suspended. The entities implementing these directives will maintain on their websites a list of the activities or approvals for which these provisions are suspended. This suspension and that provided in paragraph 9 of the January 17, 2014 Proclamation will expire on December 31, 2014, except that actions started prior to that date shall not be subject to Division 13 for the time required to complete them.

20. For several actions called for in this proclamation, certain regulatory requirements of the Water Code are suspended to allow these actions to take place as quickly as possible. Specifically, for actions taken pursuant to directive 2, section 13247 of the Water Code is suspended. The 30-day comment period provided in section 1726(f) of the Water Code is also suspended for actions taken pursuant to directive 2, but the Water Board will provide for a 15-day comment period. For actions taken by state agencies pursuant to directives 6 and 7, Chapter 3 of Part 3 (commencing with section 85225) of the Water Code is suspended. The entities implementing these directives will maintain on their websites a list of the activities or approvals for which these provisions are suspended.

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Proclamation shall be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Proclamation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 25th day of April, 2014

Governor of California


  1. Tim B. said

    Let’s Call Out Institutional Insanities
    Ralph Nader
    May 8, 2014

    What are the signs that an institution is clinically insane? For over thirty-five years I have been trying to persuade psychological and psychiatric specialists and their professional associations to take up this serious subject for study and corrective suggestions. Alas, to no avail. They are totally occupied with the mental health of individuals.

    One symptom of institutional insanity is when the mass media repeatedly goes wild covering offensive words, while ignoring systemic offensive deeds that reflect those words. In 2009, Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA Los Angeles Clippers, settled for $2.725 million with the Department of Justice for unlawfully excluding prospective African-American and Hispanic tenants from his apartment buildings. In comparison to the coverage of his racist words, this injustice received little news coverage.

    This past week, all you heard was the endless replay of his private bigotry with whom many believe to be his girlfriend and all the condemnations by wealthy active and retired ball players and coaches. Where was their outrage in 2009? What about the tens of thousands of serf-laborers in Southeast Asia who slave away manufacturing Michael Jordan’s and LeBron James’ shoes?

    In Malaysia, meeting with the head of state, visiting President Obama saw fit to comment on Donald Sterling. Yet, during his week of meetings with East Asian leaders, President Obama did not bring attention to that region’s main health threat to the United States – the deadly viral epidemics that could reach these shores as have other past lethal viruses. The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) could have benefited from some Presidential backing for greater resource cooperation and early alerts from those nations.

    The media coverage of the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings (3 fatalities, 264 injuries), was omnipresent while two recent alarming reports by the underfunded World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC warning of many more millions of deaths, that could result from over-prescribing of antibiotics leading to resistant superbugs, were given short shrift. WHO warned that our world is on the way back to the pre-antibiotic period, when there was little medical protection against bacteria and viruses.

    This is not just a future projection. Every day more than 200 Americans die in the United States from health care-associated infections, such as hospital-induced infections, according to the CDC and other sources. Each day!

    The first case of the deadly coronavirus from Saudi Arabia has reached Indiana where a returning visitor from that country came down with a little-researched virus called MERS. Traced to infected camels, this disease has taken the lives of one third or more of its victims, and has already resulted in about 100 deaths. Have you seen coverage in the media equivalent to recent political verbal gaffes or Hollywood celebrity misbehavior? Should this virus, already confirmed in a dozen countries, start moving to human-to-human transmission, “Katy bar the door!”

    Mr. Obama’s navy is redundantly completing another aircraft carrier costing $12.5 billion. There are now twelve of these strategic white elephants, apart from their imperial force protection, while there are insufficient funds for countries to discover the genetic makeup of this virus or case-control studies regarding its pattern of spreading.

    President Obama has proposed in his fiscal year 2015 budget all of $30 million for facilitates that could identify more resistant bacterial strains and communicate their resultant outbreaks and treatments. Apparently these very perilous, invisible “toxic terrorists” do not command the gravity and resources as do human terrorists or the insatiable demands of the weapons industrial complex.

    There truly are no more fitting words to describe this grotesque inversion of priorities than “institutional insanity.” It also comes in the form of mass trivialization of the media’s selectivity. Serious often timely public demonstrations and reports on widely perceived risks and existing harms are ignored. Just look at what fills national afternoon and network weekend television shows, using our public airwaves for free, no less. Look at the many pages of newspapers on sports, styles and celebrity woes, compared to the space devoted to letters to the editor or coverage of local and national civic activities that focus on improving the lot of humanity or solving widespread problems with available solutions. Too much “news” coverage is devoted to debauchery and fluff.

    Neuroscientists, such as Antonio Damasio, have speculated that uncontrollable hedonism, which takes down individuals, may, at a societal level, behave in similarly self-destructive or dysfunctional manners.

    Someday, I imagine, someone will organize a “national society of serious people” that can put this hedonistic corporatism on the nation’s table so we can examine its destruction of human potential and what we convey to our posterity.

    We can start by asking why the corporatists – those most sensually exploitative institutions – can so often get away using, for free, our own commonly owned property (public airwaves, the public lands, the internet, the trillions of dollars of taxpayer research and development given to corporations) against the interests of “we the people” and, most cruelly, our children.

    Copyright © 2014 Nader.Org, All rights reserved.
    P.O. Box 19367
    Washington, DC 20036

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