SAN FRANCISCO -- Amid California’s driest year on record, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday officially declared a drought emergency in the state.
Speaking at a San Francisco news conference, Brown also called on "all citizens" to cut back "at least 20% of their water use." He was flanked by charts and photos showing the state's anemic precipitation and snowpack.
"We ought to be ready for a long, continued, persistent effort to restrain our water use," Brown said, adding that conservation efforts would be "voluntary."
Brown’s announcement, which lawmakers, farmers and activists have been urging for weeks, comes as state reservoirs are critically low and cities across the state have already begun water-rationing measures.