Gov. Tina Kotek declared a drought emergency for Deschutes County Friday, joining previously announced emergencies for Crook and Jefferson counties.
The order directs state agencies to coordinate and prioritize assistance to the region, the governor’s office said. Other tools include assistance to local water users and allows the Water Resources Department to expedite review processes and reduce fee schedules.
Friday’s declaration is for both Deschutes and Grant counties.
“Both counties have portions of extreme drought (D3) and are experiencing well below average water year precipitation,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “Streamflow has also been well below average in both counties over the water year, with Deschutes at 78% and Grant at 44% of its average streamflow. Likewise, streamflow at their respective basins have been below average, with Deschutes at 71% and John Day at 39%.”‘
RELATED: Deschutes County board declares drought emergency
RELATED: Kotek declares Jefferson, Crook County drought emergencies
The governor’s office says reservoir conditions in the Deschutes Basin are approaching historic lows. They also say the soil moisture conditions across surface, root zone and shallow groundwater profiles are extremely dry.
While the snowpack in Deschutes County is above average (117%), the governor’s office says it will provide limited drought relief in some parts of the county.
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