Agencies responding to Governor’s drought declaration

Will Duggan

By Will Duggan

Water is becoming even more of an issue than usual in Siskiyou County in light of Governor Schwarzenegger’s recent order proclaiming an official drought condition throughout the state.

With most of the state experiencing less rainfall than usual over the past two years and reservoir capacities below normal, all local water agencies and districts are being encouraged to  work together cooperatively and conserve.

On the state and regional levels, agencies are required to take aggressive, immediate action to reduce water consumption for the remainder of 2008 and prepare for potential worsening conditions in 2009  as part of the executive drought order released by the Governor’s Office.

Cities and water conservation districts in the county are issuing guidelines to help residents reduce the amount of water they use in accord with the state drought proclamation.

Currently there is a water ordinance in place in Siskiyou County that addresses groundwater management. However, according to county officials, there is no comprehensive water plan on the books.

“All of our activities revolve around water and as a result everything has to be taken into consideration given the present situation and as we look to the future,” said Siskiyou County Natural Resources Manager Rick Costales. “Water determines what we do and the way we do it since the west was settled and it’s still that way. Working out a comprehensive water plan for the county would be beneficial for everyone, especially during drought conditions, but it’s going to take a major commitment by the County to draw one up and implement it.”