All of Kern County in ‘extreme’ or ‘exceptional’ drought, per US Drought Monitor

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The latest map released by the U-S Drought Monitor group Thursday shows the water situation in the Golden Empire is getting worse.

All of Kern County is facing “extreme drought” conditions, and the local mountain communities from Tehachapi to Lake Isabella are considered in the worse, “exceptional drought” category.

The news comes after Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for most of California, including Kern, on Monday. The next day, Kern supervisors declared a local emergency due to a severe water shortage.

In years past, efforts were put in place to conserve water during a drought, including Cal Water charging customers more money if they exceeded water usage thresholds.

Leaders of Bakersfield’s top water agencies say no mandatory measures are place, for now.

“Right now, we are starting to highly encourage people to conserve water. We want to raise public awareness for people to start conserving water as we go through the summer,” said Bakersfield Water Resources Dept. Water Resources Manager Art Chianello during a conversation with 17’s Jim Scott.

“We don’t have any plans in place right now to have mandatory cutbacks or reductions. We’ll see what the state may decide to do in the future, and we’ll act accordingly,” Chianello continued.

Chianello will be a guest this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Kern County in Depth with Jim Scott.

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