Recent Rains Have Helped, but Santa Barbara Remains in Drought Emergency

Rain poured on Santa Barbara a week ago, and more is expected later this week, but the city of Santa Barbara wants residents to remember one thing: “The city remains in a drought emergency,” said Kelley Dyer, water supply manager.
So far this water year, the city is ahead of the previous year.
Gibraltar Reservoir has received 15 inches of rain; Lake Cachuma has gotten 11 inches and 10 inches have fallen on downtown Santa Barbara.
“We are hoping for additional storms to come our way.” City residents are using the same amount of water today that they did in 1958, when the population was half of what it is today.
Santa Barbara residents conserved by 30 percent in December and conserved by 29 percent year over year.
Trhe city is in the eighth consecutive year of the drought.
The prior seven years are the driest years on record.
Dyer said that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts a chance of a weak El Niño developing during the winter of 2019, so conservation remains a top priority.
“We’re still in a drought,” Dyer said.
"We’re in really good hands with your carefull planning," Sneddon said.

Extreme drought prompts Utah governor to declare state of emergency

A long and difficult fire season.
Gary Herbert announced a state of emergency due to the extreme drought, calling on aid and assistance from the State Emergency Operations Plan.
Drought harms our industries, agriculture, recreation and wildlife, and it worsens wildfire conditions and air quality," Herbert said.
A dry period lasted for almost five years from 2012 to 2016 until heavy snowfall arrived in December 2016 and January 2017, according to a report from the Utah Drought Review and Reporting Committee.
If we all look for opportunities to conserve, we can keep a lot more water in our reservoirs, which will really help if we have another dry winter."
In agriculture, ranchers are selling their livestock due to loss of winter and summer pastures, according to the review report.
Officials reported at least 15 Utah ranchers applied for emergency livestock watering assistance for nearly 10,000 head of cattle as of Sept. 10.
Many municipal water systems have enough water for the next few years, according to the report.
Drought conditions also affect tourism in rural counties as people stop visiting depleting local reservoirs.
"Because of the extreme dry conditions, the risk of starting a fire is just as likely after the rain event as was before," the report stated.

Gov. Herbert declares State of Emergency due to Utah’s drought

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Governor Gary Herbert issued an executive order Monday declaring a State of Emergency due to Utah’s drought.
The drought declaration was a recent recommendation of the Utah Drought Review and Reporting Committee.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2018 (October 2017-September 2018) was officially Utah’s driest year on record.
In a statement, Governor Herbert said: "Such difficult conditions are harming the quality of life and the livelihoods of many Utah families and agricultural producers.
The ramifications of drought extend beyond our depleted water supply.
Herbert also asks Utahns to use water wisely year round.
Water conservation suggestions include: Fixing any leaks Only running dishwashers or washing machines when they are full Turning off the water while brushing teeth Reducing showers by at least one minute Reservoir storage facts and updates: All of Utah’s 29 counties are experiencing some level of drought.
Eight of Utah’s top 49 reservoirs are less than five percent full.
A full list of reservoir levels is available here: Reservoir Levels Additional conservation resources: For conservation tips and tricks, visit Slow the Flow To see what rebates are available in your area, visit Utah Water Savers To learn how to upgrade the aesthetics and water sustainability of your landscape, visit

Emergency Drought Aid a Welcome Relief, But Long Term Focus Needed

Following a recent announcement that 100 per cent of New South Wales is drought-affected, charity organisations around Australia have provided emergency aid which includes hampers, fodder delivery and food vouchers.
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) program manager for Queensland and NSW, Jacki Diamond, told Pro Bono News it was important for the social sector to “come together” so that programs could be coordinated and managed properly to effect change.
“We often find, particularly in a disaster scenario that communities are completely bombarded by lots of individual groups that want to help, and will all come to them for a separate conversation,” Diamond said.
She said the role of FRRR was to “provide an avenue” for consultation between philanthropic and community groups so they could work collaboratively together.
“It’s vital that level of consultation exists both within the philanthropic sector but also importantly talking to communities about what support they need and being able to cover the gaps,” she said.
While the immediate relief efforts was welcomed by FRRR, Diamond said it was important to acknowledge the aftermath of the “economic decline that accompanies drought”, which is why long term programs were critical.
“Drought, like other natural disasters, has an extended recovery period… once [drought] breaks, communities are affected for at least two years,” she said.
“Locals of rural communities are incredibly resilient and resourceful, but distance and the small size of most communities makes it hard to fundraise normally – let alone when there is a drought.” The recent announcement of extra federal government funding for drought-affected communities had a mixed response from various organisations.
Chief executive of the Country Education Foundation, Wendy Cohen, said the two $12,000 payments to families “would not go far”, especially when it came to education costs.
“Many families are determined to prioritise the education of their children, but there’s only so far limited budgets can stretch,” Cohen said.

Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties now under drought emergency

A total of 72 counties — virtually the entire eastern half of the state — are now under a drought emergency.
The city of Gardner has issued water-use restrictions.
“Counties in emergency stage are eligible for emergency use of water from certain state fishing lakes,” according to an announcement from the Drought Response Team in Gov.
Jeff Colyer’s office.
protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy – Terms Privacy – Terms Individuals and communities need to file a request with the Kansas Water Office before withdrawing water from lakes.
All 105 Kansas counties are either in a drought emergency or under a watch or warning.
Though the forecast this week calls for more rain, the National Weather Weather Service in Kansas City tweeted on Aug. 12: “On track to see a decent amount of rain across the area this week.
… It’s unlikely to break the drought, but it should certainly help.” Spotty showers and storms will continue through tonight.
It’s unlikely to break the drought, but it should certainly help. — NWS Kansas City (@NWSKansasCity) August 12, 2018 As for Missouri, the National Integrated Drought Information System said that as of the last update on Aug. 7, much of northern and northwestern parts of the state and parts of southwestern Missouri were in extreme drought.

Michigan’s PFAS contamination emergency

State says it’s a sign its programs are working On Sunday, July 29th, the State of Michigan declared two townships in Kalamazoo County a state of emergency due to PFAS contamination.
We are testing all municipal water systems.” She says when results came in last week, the state immediately told the more than 3000 residents of Parchment and Cooper townships to stop drinking their water, and the state opened up emergency centers so citizens could pick up supplies of bottled drinking water.
Both townships will then use the city of Kalamazoo’s water supply, and the city of Kalamazoo will continue flushing out Parchment and Cooper township’s water supply system until test results come back that show the PFAS levels are safe.
The MDEQ’s Scott Dean says in this recent case of PFAS contamination, the state of emergency response came from state-sponsored research as well as quick action once the chemical was discovered in the water supplies in Parchment and Cooper Townships.
The testing in Kalamazoo County was conducted as part of Governor Rick Snyder’s unprecedented and proactive effort to test all water systems for these chemicals, which are starting to emerge in many states across the nation and raising public health concerns.” Baker adds, “Due to the ongoing health and safety concerns as a result of the PFAS contamination in the drinking water for the City of Parchment and Cooper Township, Lt. Gov.
He tells Great Lakes Now, “No other state in the union has done more to root out PFAS contamination and protect the public than Michigan.
We set our own to go after polluters while encouraging the EPA to establish a national standard.” Dean says the Parchment and Cooper Township PFAS drinking water contamination sites are the only known municipal PFAS drinking water contamination sites in the state right now, and the state’s own investigation uncovered it.
75% of Michigan’s population is on a public drinking water supply.
High amounts of the chemical PFAS have been found in the water supply of City of Parchment.
The City of Kalamazoo will continue flushing out the City of Parchment’s water supply system until test results come back that shows the PFAS levels are below the health advisory level.

Governor declares Wheeler County drought emergency

SALEM, Ore. – Governor Kate Brown announced Wednesday a drought emergency for Wheeler County due to low snowpack, lack of precipitation, low streamflows and warming temperatures as wildfires spread throughout Oregon.
“Drought conditions and unusually high temperatures could have serious impacts on Wheeler County’s economy, as well as natural resources, livestock, and fisheries,” Brown said.
“To minimize these impacts and provide support to the community, I’m directing state agencies to work with local and federal partners to provide assistance to Wheeler County.” Wheeler County is the seventh county under a drought emergency this year, joining Klamath, Grant, Harney, Lake, Baker and Douglas counties.
The governor’s drought declaration allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible.
Forecast water conditions are not expected to improve, and drought is likely to have significant impacts on agriculture, livestock, natural resources, and the local economy.
Wheeler County officials requested the state to take action on July 12, and the Oregon Drought Council considered the counties’ requests by weighing current water conditions, future climatic forecasts, and agricultural impacts.
Oregon’s state agencies will continue to work with local governments and other partners to coordinate efforts and mobilize actions to address drought-related issues.
The Governor’s drought declaration authorizes state agencies to expedite water management tools to which users would not otherwise have access.
As state and local officials coordinate with federal partners, conditions will be closely monitored by the state’s natural resource and public safety agencies, including the Oregon Water Resources Department and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Emergency Grazing Begins In Drought-Stricken Kansas

Cattle producers in drought-stricken Kansas counties may now cut hay or graze on land normally set aside for conservation.
Forty-three counties in central and northeastern Kansas that are in “severe drought” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor were authorized for emergency grazing and haying.
That gives ranchers limited access to grass or hay from land enrolled in the conservation reserve program or CRP.
This helps reduce soil erosion and provides valuable habitat for wildlife.
For example, the timing of the emergency grazing and haying is scheduled around the needs of local birds.
If farmers choose to cut hay on their CRP land, they can only hay 50 percent of the acreage, and there are limits to grazing, as well.
Authorizing 43 counties for drought relief is unusual, said Winkler.
Ben Kuebrich reports for High Plains Public Radio in Garden City and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and HPPR covering health, education and politics.
Follow him on @Ben_Kuebrich.
Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.

Brits run out of WATER with schools shut and locals forced to stock up on emergency bottles as reservoirs dry up in 30C heatwave

PARTS of Britain were today left without water in the midst of the summer heatwave saw emergency bottled water handed out to thousands of homes.
Properties in Guildford, Surrey, saw their taps run dry and some schools in the town were also forced to close.
F Stop Press F Stop Press There were similar shortages 15 miles away in Haslemere as temperatures reached 27C in the latest day of scorching sunshine.
Thames Water aware since 10pm last night but can’t fix it."
Another dad added: "Over 12 hours no water at home.
This is totally unacceptable in 2018 to not have running water within a home with two young children."
Thames Water spokesman tweeted: "GU1 and GU2 customers may be experiencing low pressure or no water this morning after a technical issue on our network.
Twitter Twitter Twitter TRNSMT weather will see temperatures soar to 25C with Scottish heatwave set to last another WEEK "We’re pumping more water into the network to help restore your supply while we work to repair the technical issue on our network."
Severn Trent Water said low pressure issues which left some customers without water earlier today have been resolved and customers should see their services return to normal.
A hosepipe ban has been put in place in Northern Ireland and a number of water companies have asked households to cut back on their usage to avoid an outright ban.

Governor declares drought emergency in two Oregon counties

Kate Brown declared an emergency in two Oregon counties due to drought conditions, she announced in a press release.
Douglas County is the first county west of the Cascades to be declared an emergency.
"That means we must continue our urgent work to build communities that are ready for the challenges of climate change.
I have directed state agencies stand ready to help and work with local communities to provide assistance."
Citing the effects on animals and the environment from millions of tons of plastic waste, the Portland City Council is poised to pass a resolution Wednesday restricting use of plastic straws and other single-use plastics.
Plastic straws are one of the most common forms of waste, it said, and cannot be recycled.
An outright straw-ban is not mentioned in the resolution.
If the Portland City Council adopts the resolution, the city will join Seattle, San Francisco, Berkeley, Boulder and Vancouver, British Columbia as other big — and liberal-leaning — cities to move away from use of plastic straws.
— Gordon R. Friedman 503-221-8209