Southern California Cities & Central Valley Farmers Applaud Governor for Declaring Drought Emergency

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California Water Alliance and Independent Cities Association say announcement will pave way for the Federal Government to relax water restrictions.

A state of emergency is beneficial because it opens the door for the Department of Interior to relax regulations.

With the prospect of a proposed 95 percent cut in statewide water supplies this year, Southern California government officials and Central Valley farmers came together today to applaud Governor Brown for declaring a drought emergency in the state, according to the California Water Alliance and Independent Cities Association.

“I commend Governor Jerry Brown for addressing the threat that this drought would place on our municipalities, businesses and seven million residents in Los Angeles County,” said Mario A. Guerra, President of the Los Angeles County Independent Cities Association (ICA). “This water shortage and increasing water costs could also undermine local government’s ability to fight fires and protect public health.”

Citing concerns over the rising cost of water and the threat of a proposed 95 percent cut in water supplies, ICA sent a letter urging the Governor to declare a statewide water emergency. ICA represents 48 Southern California cities, including Los Angeles, San Fernando, Santa Monica, Torrance, Inglewood and Long Beach.

A leading non-partisan water organization also praised the Governor for recognizing the needs of farmers, rural communities, businesses and cities.

“A drought declaration underscores for Californians the importance of continued water conservation,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, Executive Director, California Water Alliance. “But because we can’t conserve our way out of this crisis, a state of emergency is beneficial because it opens the door for the Department of Interior to relax regulations in a way that provides water for storage while still protecting the environment under existing laws.”

Bettencourt praised the Governor, Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and other elected officials at the state and federal level for making water the number one priority public policy issue for 2014.

“We appreciate both their urgency in dealing with the short-term fallout of the drought as well as their resolve to find a bipartisan comprehensive and balanced solution that provides stability for residents, businesses and the environment.”

About the Independent Cities Association
ICA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, public benefit corporation created in 1960. It is made up of forty-eight member cities in the Southern California area. The organization focuses on education, legislative advocacy, intergovernmental relationships and other major issues that transcend the boundaries of its member cities.

About the California Water Alliance
The California Water Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization comprised of 4,000 members statewide that is dedicated to achieving both short-term relief and a long-term solution to the water emergency afflicting California. To this end, California Water Alliance supports the development of a water infrastructure bond that is comprehensive, and takes into account the needs of all Californians. To learn more, please visit

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