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Marin County Supes to Vote On Extending Drought Emergency Declaration

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF/BCN) -- As an ongoing water shortage that's hurting ranchers and dairies in the North Bay, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will consider extending a local emergency declaration of drought conditions at its meeting Tuesday.

Much of the state is facing parched conditions after two consecutive dry years and Marin County is no exception. The county's two largest water suppliers, the Marin Municipal Water District and the North Marin Water District, have declared water shortage emergencies and put mandatory conservation measures in place.

"In Marin, the situation for ranchers, especially dairies, is grim and deteriorating, with several dairies importing water by truck for many months to keep their animals alive," according to a report to the supervisors from the county administrator's office.

"With far less grass on the ground, many ranchers have also resorted to importing feed from other states at extremely high cost."

County Administrator Matthew Hymel is recommending the supervisors approve a resolution continuing a local emergency proclamation that was adopted in May.

Declaring a local emergency provides the opportunity for potential state and federal aid, as drought conditions are expected to worsen in coming months, according to the county administrator.

Earlier this year, the Marin Municipal Water District board of directors declared a water shortage emergency, putting restrictions in place that aimed to reduce water use by 40%. The restrictions include limiting spray irrigation to one day per week, drip irrigation to two days per week, and no outdoor watering between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The county board of supervisors meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The meeting can be seen online at or The meeting is also available at Comcast Channel 27 or U-Verse Channel 99.

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