February 27, 2009 / 9:34 PM / 10 years ago

California sees billions in losses from drought

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday declared a state emergency due to drought, requested broad conservation measures and said agricultural revenue losses in the coming season could top $2 billion.

Total economic losses in 2009 could be nearly $3 billion, the governor said, and he requested urban users to cut water consumption by 20 percent and state agencies to implement a water reduction plan.

“Even with the recent rainfall, California faces it third consecutive year of drought and we must prepare for the worst — a fourth, fifth or even sixth year of drought,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

Reporting by Peter Henderson, Editing Dan Grebler

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