California Expands Drought Declaration to Most of California

Much to my regret – but not surprise – the April 21 announcement of a regional drought to two counties was expanded to 41 of California’s 58 counties earlier today by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

The list include 39 newly added counties of the laundry list those affected — Del Norte, Humboldt, Siskiyou, Trinity, Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties.  These join Mendocino and Somona counties for the total list of 41 counties.  

From a practical perspective, we serve most of these counties, including the East Bay counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano and Sonoma counties.  While the Peninsula and South Bay aren’t (yet?) included [Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties), it would be foolish not to anticipate further changes could influence how the fire protection industry  activities – both inspection/test/maintenance and new construction work – will be affected.

As a team, our biggest water use is during new construction (NFPA 14) acceptance testing of standpipes.  We’ve begun exploring how recirculation of water can be accomplished, to meet the goals of water conservation to the maximum extent possible, while ensuring environmental needs are met (such as discharge water declorination) and the process does not re-introduce construction debris from piping back into the structure.

Stay tuned on where this effort’s headed, but we anticipate having a plan put together, reviewed with a few stakeholder fire prevention members, and ready to share by very early June.  

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