California governor declares drought emergency in 2 counties

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a drought emergency in two Northern California counties as the state grapples with depleted water supplies after a dry winter.

Wednesday’s announcement affects Mendocino and Sonoma counties, where grape growers and wineries are major users, but it could expand statewide.

It comes as California is expected to face another devastating wildfire season and as about three-quarters of the American West is in what’s called a megadrought.

California officials say this is the fourth-driest year on record, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state.

Farmers are pleading for Newsom to declare a statewide emergency, saying they need to be prioritized.

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