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Sherman County 20th under state drought emergency


Gov. Kate Brown has declared a drought emergency in Sherman County due to drought, low snowpack levels and low water conditions. A total of 20 of Oregon’s 36 counties are now officially in a state of drought emergency – twice as many as last year.

“With the arrival of summer, manifestations of drought are already apparent in many of our rivers and streams, as well as yards and fields,” Brown said. “However, there will also be drought-induced economic consequences that are yet to be fully realized.”

“As a state, we are responsible to prepare for the long-term effects of climate change by investing in drought mitigation, efficiency, and awareness,” the governor added.

In an effort to raise awareness of the dire conditions that Oregon faces this summer, Governor Brown has launched the “#ORdrought” campaign. State agencies are using the hashtag #ORdrought across social media to keep Oregonians informed and prepared to adapt to drought conditions.

Following the request from Sherman County, the Oregon Drought Council reviewed current water conditions, future climatic forecasts, and the effects of water shortages on the local economy.

The Oregon Drought Council, chaired by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, meets regularly to assess water conditions around the state.

In the first half of this year, Governor Brown has declared drought emergencies in 20 counties: Baker, Coos, Crook, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Wasco, and Wheeler.

The governor’s drought declaration allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible.

In addition, the governor is working with Oregon’s federal delegation, state agencies, local governments and other partners to coordinate efforts and mobilize actions to address drought-related issues.

More information about the drought management tools made available as a result of the declaration can be found at the Oregon Water Resource Department’s Website.

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