SAN FRANCISCO Jan 17 California governor Jerry
Brown declared a drought emergency on Friday, a move that will
allow the parched state to seek federal aid as it grapples with
what could turn out to be the driest year in recorded state
Brown appealed to Californians to keep a lid on water use
with the aim of reducing overall consumption by 20 percent. He
told reporters at a news conference that mandatory conservation
programs may be initiated down the road.
"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,"
Brown said in a statement.
"I've declared this emergency and I'm calling all
Californians to conserve water in every way possible."
(Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)