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State lawmakers call for drought emergency

SAN FRANCISCO — With another dry winter looming, California lawmakers called on Gov. Jerry Brown and President Barack Obama to declare a drought emergency and federal disaster in the state.

In a letter sent Monday, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Democratic Rep. Jim Costa urged the governor to take immediate action. A separate letter signed by dozens of other California lawmakers called for the same declaration.

The lawmakers cited the California Department of Water Resources' announcement of low water deliveries for Central Valley agriculture due to light rainfall projections.

"While it is early in the 2014 water year and therefore projections on allocations are conservative, what is clear is that we have had two years of dry conditions that have depleted our reservoirs and reduced carry over storage to historically low levels not seen since 1977," Feinstein and Costa wrote.

While a drought has not been declared, a dry 2014 could be the third straight year with subpar rainfall.


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