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Central Coast cities seeing impacts of California drought

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Posted at 7:24 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 13:15:55-04

Governor Gavin Newsom declared an emergency executive order in two Northern California counties in response to bad drought conditions.

On the Central Coast, residents are also starting to see the impacts with some local cities making changes to their water supplies.

"The world that existed a century or so ago no longer persists and exists today. The hots are getting hotter, the drys are getting dryer,” said Newsom on Wednesday.

Californians have already started to see the impacts due to the lack of rainfall this past year.

"We are going to go into a long period here now from a winter that was 5 to 10 inches short on rain locally and worse elsewhere into this long, dry, hot summer period,” said meteorologist Dave Hovde.

Which then creates fire danger, agricultural stress, and a call to action for water conservation on a local level.

The city of Santa Maria has already started to make changes now providing customers with 100% groundwater due to the drought and reduced state water deliveries. Something they haven't had to do since 2014.

"We endeavor to provide the best quality water to all of our customers and we are just getting ahead of it because it's the right thing to do,” said the city of Santa Maria public information officer, Mark van de Kamp.

According to Santa Maria city officials, residents shouldn't have concerns about this change because the groundwater supplies will still continue to meet all drinking water standards.

According to the U.S. drought monitor San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are in moderate drought with some parts of Santa Barbara County in a severe drought.

Places like Solvang have already had to ask residents to cut down on water use by 15% and although Santa Maria officials are not doing that, they are asking residents to be mindful.

“At the same time, we do want to send out a message that it's a good idea to conserve because every gallon that we might need later on will be there if we conserve this precious resource,” Van De Kamp said.

According to city officials, the use of 100% local groundwater will continue through May and the city will augment state water during the months of June through October.

According to the U.S. drought monitor, approximately more than half of California is experiencing a severe drought.