Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday declared a drought emergency in nine Central Valley counties from Sacramento to Kern, ordering state agencies to carry out creative water deliveries to help.
The counties, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, have been hard-hit by the drought and the situation is expected to worsen. Thursday's announcement follows the governor's statewide drought declaration last week, the first since 1991.
Fresno County has already reported impacts of $73 million to its farm sector, while Kern has measured a $100 million hit, said Lester Snow, director of the state Department of Water Resources. No data were available for Sacramento County.