Santa Clara County officials declare local emergency due to extreme drought conditions

Santa Clara County has declared a local emergency because of extreme drought conditions. 

Santa Clara is currently experiencing "extreme drought," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor -- a level at which fires may be widespread and low water levels have begun to seriously impact wildlife, agriculture and urban areas. 

The county has asked residents and businesses to begin conserving water immediately. With most of the state also experiencing extreme to exceptional drought, the county noted in a statement that importing water would be difficult. 

The declaration comes less than a month after the Santa Clara Valley Water District declared a water shortage emergency and established mandatory 15 percent water usage reductions from 2019 levels. 

These restrictions add to a number of permanent measures established by the county in 2015 to reduce water waste, including watering lawns at night and banning decorative water fountains. 

In a statement, Valley Water board chair Tony Estremera applauded the decision and urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a drought emergency in Santa Clara County. 

"Our water supplies are in jeopardy," he said. "Together, the actions taken by Valley Water and Santa Clara County acknowledge the water emergency facing our county and position us well to take additional measures to protect our water supplies and work with retailers and our community to conserve this precious resource."