“America’s political executives – presidents, governors and big city mayors – are often judged by how they respond to unanticipated crises. …
“Jerry Brown knows the syndrome well. He had two major crises during his first stint as governor 30-plus years ago, a severe drought early in his governorship and an invasion of Mediterranean fruit flies near the end.”
“The state’s foremost environmental law no longer protects wildlife or the environment from the effects of the state’s response to the drought, after an emergency drought declaration was signed by Governor Brown at a press event in San Francisco Friday morning.”
From the Stockton Record Alex Breitler Environment blog:
“A story I wrote over the weekend focused on this question: Are we better prepared than we were in 1976-77 to handle a drought of that magnitude? Here are a few comments and reactions that didn’t make it into print.
From the California WaterBlog by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences in a post by Jay Lund:
“California’s history is punctuated by droughts (Hanak et al 2011). Each drought reveals problems and becomes an opportunity to focus on improving water management and expanding smaller-scale innovations. For example:
From the San Francisco Chronicle Politics blog, in a post by Carolyn Lochhead:
“California’s drought will be one of the extreme weather events that the American Meteorological Society will examine later this year to determine whether the cause is natural variability or human-caused climate change, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center said Tuesday.”
“On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown declared California officially in a state of drought, asking residents and businesses to voluntary reduce water usage by 20 percent. … Here are eight ways you can start saving water right now — no trips to the hardware store required.”
“With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today [Jan. 17] proclaimed a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions.
“’We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas,’ said Governor Brown.
“Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency in the state Friday, urging residents to cut water use by 20% and directing state agencies to take a range of steps to ease the effects of water shortages on agriculture, communities and fish and wildlife.”
“Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday declared a drought emergency in California as the state struggles with the least amount of rainfall in its 153-year history, reservoir levels fall and firefighters remain on high alert.”
“The American River looks to Jonas Minton very much like it did nearly four decades ago when he took a kayak out into what was then a trickling stream and scraped across the rocks on the bottom.
“That year, 1977, was one of the driest in California history, a drought that inspired a water conservation movement, along with low-flow toilets and showerheads, water-saving washing machines and dishwashers, drip irrigation and recycled water.”
“California’s two behemoth water deliverers — the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project, perhaps the best known water purveyors in the world – are poised to join together to move water quickly around the state in the face of an unprecedented drought.”
“On Friday, amid California’s driest year on record, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in the state. As days pass without snow or rain, dairymen, farmers and other livestock producers are finding themselves in the same predicament as Imhof. Without water to irrigate, produce growers fear they will have to leave some fields fallow.”
“San Joaquin Valley farmers are idling thousands of acres, bulldozing hundreds of trees and shifting production of some crops out of the area as the state enters its third straight year of dry weather. …
“Sacramento water agencies are racing to impose the toughest conservation orders ever seen in the region amid a dry winter that may soon shatter records.
“If downtown Sacramento goes until Tuesday without measurable precipitation, it will break a 1976 record as the driest winter stretch – 45 days – in the city’s history, according to the National Weather Service.”
“‘We can’t make it rain,’ said Gov. Jerry Brown, in declaring a drought state of emergency Friday, warning Californians that the declaration isn’t a remedy but an announcement that there are some very tough decisions to come.”