MADERA COUNTY – The Board of Supervisors today voted unanimously to declare a local drought emergency in Madera County, following Governor Brown declaration of a statewide emergency on Jan. 17.
The resolution will allow the County to apply for state and federal assistance in dealing with the economic hardships expected to result from the ongoing drought.
Citing the importance of agriculture to the economy of Madera County, the alarmingly low levels of water and snowpack in California’s mountains, and the fact that local resources are unlikely to be adequate in coping with the effects of this emergency, the Board voted 5-0 to adopt the resolution.
John Anderson, Sheriff and Director of Emergency Services, was designated as the local Hazard Mitigation Coordinator for the County. Anderson will be tasked with assessing any damage and consulting with federal and state survey teams about possible actions to mitigate the hazards brought about by the drought.
“Right now we have no access to California Disaster Assistance Act funds,” Anderson told the Board. “These are funds that can be used to mitigate in the case of such things as wells going dry. Adopting this resolution would enable us to seek those funds.”
Critical issues to be addressed include drinking water supplies being put at risk; fewer crops able to be cultivated, creating heightened unemployment and economic hardship; animals and plants that rely on California’s lakes, rivers, and streams being threatened, and the elevated risk of wildfire.
The Board is required by law to review the state of local emergency every 21 days.