Governor's Drought Task Force Members to Meets Bay Area Officials in San Francisco to Discuss Historic Drought Impacts, Solutions

San Francisco, California - Summer is in full swing in California, which is intensifying the effects of the ongoing and historic drought. Today, the Governor's Interagency Drought Task Force met with local government officials from the Bay Area to hear first-hand how the drought is affecting their jurisdictions.

Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Solano, San Francisco, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Alameda & Santa Clara County government officials, water managers, agricultural commissioners and others gathered at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to share their current impacts and mitigation efforts. The Drought Task Force also heard how the State could strengthen its partnerships with the Bay Area to ensure swift response to public safety, public health and ecological concerns.

"Meeting face-to-face with local leaders who are experiencing these extremely harsh drought impacts is really improving our response to this unprecedented drought," said Cal OES Director and Chair of the Governor's Drought Task Force Mark Ghilarducci.

On Friday, April 27th, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed an executive order that cuts red tape to help get water to farmers more quickly, ensure communities have safe drinking water, protect vulnerable species and prepare for an extreme fire season. The order also calls on doubling water conservation efforts in every way possible.

"California has communities at risk of acute drinking water shortages," said Nancy Ward, Deputy Director of Cal OES. "It's critical that we all work together to come up with solutions to cope with our statewide crisis."

Drought Task Force leaders have made stops in Sacramento, the North Coast (Ukiah), the northern San Joaquin Valley (Merced), the Central Coast (Santa Cruz), Tulare County (Visalia) and Gold Country (Sonora).

"Governor Brown's $687 million drought relief package is providing much needed financial assistance to people and agencies affected by the drought," said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. "San Francisco will be actively pursuing available funding opportunities to support our 'shovel ready' water conservation and water supply projects, and we've asked all City departments, businesses and residents to reduce water usage by 10 percent. Given the severity of the drought, we need everyone to do their part to conserve water."

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Photos from today's meeting are available HERE.

Attendees of today's meeting included:

  • Mark Ghilarducci, Director - Governor's Office of Emergency Services
  • Nancy Ward, Chief Deputy Director - Governor's Office of Emergency Services
  • Edwin M. Lee - Mayor, City of San Francisco
  • Harlan Kelly, Jr. - General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Anne Kronenberg - Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management
  • Felicia Marcus, Board Chair - State Water Resources Control Board
  • Sandra Schubert, Undersecretary - CA Department of Food & Agriculture
  • Greg Martinelli, Wildlife and Lands Program Manager - CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Jodi Traversaro, Coastal Regional Administrator - Governor's Office of Emergency Services
  • Jeanine Jones, Multi-Agency Liaison Deputy Director - Department of Water Resources

Additional information