Deschutes County joins a growing list of Oregon counties—now 15 deep—designated by Gov. Kate Brown as drought emergencies following today's announcement. Withtoday's addition of eight counties, nearly half the state is experiencing an official drought emergency. In addition to Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Morrow, Umatilla, and Wasco counties have been added.
“The majority of our state is parched due to the warm winter and lack of snow,” Gov. Brown said in a release. “As we move into summer, many areas of the state are going to dry out very quickly, likely leading to a difficult fire season as well as water shortages. We need our state, local and federal partners to be prepared as our communities grapple with hot and dry conditions.”
In an effort to drive home the seriousness of these conditions, Gov. Brown is launching the #ORdrought campaign, which she kicked off with the video below. In it, she stresses that while the situation is dire, meaningful changes can still be made.
"It may look green now, but we are going to experience one the worst droughts in the history of our state," she says in the video.
"But the script hasn't been written yet. By working together, we can begin to make a difference right now."
The drought declaration directs agencies such as the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Department of Water Resources, the Water Resources Commission, and the Office of Emergency Management to assist water users and the state in mitigating the impacts of the drought.