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Lane County Declares Drought Emergency

Rachael McDonald/ screenshot

Lane County Commissioners Tuesday declared a state of emergency due to extreme drought conditions.
This action puts the county in the process to be added it to the state’s list of drought declarations. Lane County spokesperson Devon Ashbridge said this will help those with water rights to access resources and assistance.
 “So that will become increasingly important as we continue to see extreme drought and severe drought throughout Lane County,” Ashbridge said.  “Especially for agricultural producers and people who depend on that water supply in order to grow food or operate their business.”
So far, the state has declared drought emergencies in 15 Oregon counties.
At their Tuesday meeting, the Board heard from Lane County Emergency Manager Patence Winningham. She said the Cascade Foothills are experiencing extreme drought, and there's severe drought nearly everywhere else. Lane County, like others, has experienced below average rainfall and above average temperatures this year. 
The last declared drought emergency in Lane County was in 2015.
The conditionsare expected to last well into the summer. 
Ashbridge said residents can do their part to reduce water use, like cutting back on watering lawns, only running dishwashers and washing machines with a full load, and turning off the tap while brushing teeth. 
US Drought Monitor
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Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
Jen is an intern for KLCC, through the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. This is her first radio news job. She is Oregon-born and raised and loves writing, reading and recording. Her favorite things to write about are community and social justice issues, LGBTQIA+ news and history, and cultural deep-dives.