On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom and senior administration officials met with Mendocino and Sonoma County officials, including RCRC Board Member Supervisor Glenn McGourty, Mendocino County, to announce a statewide response to worsening drought conditions. However, unlike Governor Brown’s statewide executive order in response to similar emerging drought conditions in 2014, Governor Newsom’s proclamation declares a drought emergency for Mendocino and Sonoma Counties only, suspending certain Public Resources Code authorities for purposes of allowing State Water Resources Control Board to take emergency action in response to drought conditions in the Russian River watershed. The Governor’s order follows a state of emergency declaration by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on the day prior.   
In addition to declaring a two-county emergency, the Governor’s proclamation directs state agencies to take several actions to manage worsening drought conditions elsewhere in the state. Under the order, state agencies are directed to partner with local water agencies to develop a public information and outreach campaign on water use conservation. Additionally, several state agencies—including State Water Resources Control Board, Department of Water Resources (DWR), and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)—are directed to accelerate funding for water supply enhancement and water conservation in communities throughout the state. The order also directs DWR to work with well drillers, counties, groundwater sustainability agencies, and well owners to develop data to assist continued implementation of groundwater sustainability plans under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The State Water Board is also directed by the order to monitor local supply conditions across a variety of water systems.
While the Governor’s order proclaims an emergency for the Russian River watershed, it also directs state agencies to take certain actions in other state watersheds. Specifically, the order directs CDFA to “work with federal agencies to assist Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers contending with reduced water supplies.” The order additionally directs several agencies, including the state’s Delta agencies, to monitor and address potential salinity impacts to the Delta from lesser freshwater inflow. The order also directs State Water Board and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to work with federal agencies to manage temperature conditions for the preservation of fish in the Sacramento River downstream of Shasta Dam “while balancing water supply needs.”
The full text of the Governor’s Drought Proclamation can be viewed on the Governor’s website here.