RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Governor Jerry Brown has officially declared that California is in a state of emergency effective as of Friday, as the state faces water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded history, according to a press release.

While Governor Brown urged officials to take necessary actions to prepare for drought conditions, the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association (CA-NV AWWA) called on its members in the drinking water community to take all necessary actions to protect public health and safety, the release reported.

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“Governor Brown made the right decision,” stated Bruce Macler, the AWWA Section’s board chair. “These record dry conditions represent a threat to public health, as well as the possibility of tremendous economic losses. We understand the vulnerability of the small communities dependent on wells, springs and streams that are going dry.”

CA-NV AWWA Executive Director Tim Worley encouraged use of the AWWA 'M-60' Manual of Practice on drought preparedness and response, the release noted, in addition to AWWA's other drought response tools including articles and links that can be beneficial to utilities in severe drought conditions.

“This is the moment for our certified Water Use Efficiency Practitioners — over 400 throughout the state — to step forward and lead the way,” said Worley.