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Sonoma County Supes Declare Drought Emergency As Water Levels Reach Record Lows

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) -- The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution declaring a drought emergency Tuesday, calling on the governor to push for federal intervention after local water reservoir levels reached record lows this year.

The state faces megadrought conditions, which are apparent in the Bay Area. County officials say Lake Mendocino is currently 43% of target capacity and Lake Sonoma is 62%, and both are the lowest they have been on this date. The low levels came as the area saw dry conditions the past two years.

Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Lake Mendocino on April 21, where he declared a state of emergency due to drought conditions in the Russian River Watershed.

READ MORE: EBMUD Board Declares Stage 1 Drought; Voluntary 10% Conservation Ordered

Gov. Newsom declares drought emergency
California Gov. Gavin Newsom declares a drought emergency in Mendocino and Sonoma counties during a press conference at Lake Mendocino, April 21, 2021.

By passing the emergency declaration Tuesday, the county now has access to tools for supporting "the region's local agriculture and economy," officials say. Among them, the county can request funding for public outreach and response.

"Immediate water savings are needed from all members of our community, including urban, commercial, industrial and agriculture," Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt and board liaison to Sonoma Water said. "We can only beat this drought if we act together. Today's proclamation and earlier action by Governor Newsom will help provide tools to beat this drought."

Along with the declaration, the supervisors called on Gov. Newsom to authorize the California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA). Once authorized, the county can reimburse 75% of costs from addressing the drought locally.

Supervisors will be updated on the drought situation on May 11.

For more information about current water supply conditions, residents can visit They can also learn water-saving tips from

Read the drought declaration at the county's website.

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