Brown declares California drought emergency

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday declared a drought emergency in California as the state struggles with the least amount of rainfall in its 153-year history, reservoir levels fall and firefighters remain on high alert.

"We are in an unprecedented, very serious situation," said Brown, who asked California residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20 percent. "Hopefully, it will rain eventually. But in the meantime, we have to do our part."

The drought declaration also streamlines the rules for water agencies to transfer extra water from one part of the state to another, easing shortages. It also directs the state to hire more seasonal firefighters, limits the landscaping of highways and raises public awareness.

Read full text at Mercury News