Governor Kate Brown Declares a Drought Emergency for Grant County
Governor Kate Brown Friday announced a drought emergency for Grant County due to shalow snowpack, lack of precipitation, low streamflows, and warming temperatures as Oregon braces for the upcoming wildfire season.
Water supplies are not expected to improve and drought is likely to have significant damaging effects on agriculture, livestock, natural resources, and local economies. Grant County officials requested state action on March 14, and the Oregon Drought Council considered the counties’ requests by weighing current water conditions, future climatic forecasts, and agricultural impacts.
“For portions of Oregon, including Grant County, drought forecasts are already predicting a troubling year ahead,” Governor Brown said. “To minimize the impacts drought, severe weather, and wildfire conditions could have on the local economy, I’m directing state agencies to work with local and federal partners to provide assistance to the Grant County community.”
The Governor’s drought declaration allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible. Oregon’s state agencies will continue to work with local governments and other partners to coordinate efforts and mobilize actions to address drought-related issues. The Governor’s drought declaration authorizes state agencies to expedite water management tools to which users would not otherwise have access.
As state and local officials coordinate with federal partners, conditions will be closely monitored by the state’s natural resource and public safety agencies, including the Oregon Water Resources Department and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. Oregon’s first drought emergency of the year was declared by Governor Brown in Klamath County on March 13, 2018.