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California drought emergency expanded to most of the state

California drought emergency expanded to most of the state
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California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom'Aggressive individual' arrested after interaction with Newsom California grid operator calls on residents to conserve electricity amid heat wave California hydroelectric plant expected to shut down for the first time in 50 years MORE (D) on Monday expanded a state emergency over drought conditions due to what he called “acute water supply shortfalls” in northern and central parts of the state.

Forty-one of the 58 counties in the state are now under a drought state of emergency, according to a statement from the governor's office, extending an emergency that was proclaimed on April 21. The expansion now covers 30 percent of the state's population.

Officials blamed an especially dry April and May.

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“With the reality of climate change abundantly clear in California, we’re taking urgent action to address acute water supply shortfalls in northern and central California while also building our water resilience to safeguard communities in the decades ahead,” Newsom said in the statement. “We’re working with local officials and other partners to protect public health and safety and the environment, and call on all Californians to help meet this challenge by stepping up their efforts to save water."

Also on Monday, Newsom announced a $5.1 billion package for water infrastructure and a drought response plan, according to a separate statement from his office.

Due to the recent drought, The Associated Press reports that officials fear another bad wildfire season. A record 6,562 square miles were burned in 2020.