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23 Oregon counties are now under drought emergencies
Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today declared drought emergencies in three additional Oregon counties: Curry, Hood River, and Union. With these three new counties, Oregon has more than doubled the number of drought declarations made in 2014.

““The extreme drought conditions we are experiencing reflect a new reality in Oregon," Governor Brown said. "In an already difficult fire season, steps such as these are key to taking a proactive approach to the continuing challenges of climate change."

The Governor's drought declaration allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible. In addition, the Governor is working with Oregon's federal delegation, state agencies, local governments, and other partners to coordinate efforts and mobilize actions to address drought-related issues.

Drought means hot and dry conditions leading to water shortages for farming and ranching operations. Long-term forecasts continue to call for temperatures well above normal. Low river and stream levels are of concern as well, although recreational areas around the state remain open for business.

Following requests from the three counties, the Oregon Drought Council reviewed current water conditions, future climatic forecasts, and the effects of water shortages on local economies. The Oregon Drought Council, chaired by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, meets regularly to assess water conditions around the state. So far this year, Oregon has 23 counties under declared drought: Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wasco, and Wheeler.

In 2014, a total of 10 counties were under drought emergencies.

In the effort to raise awareness of the dire conditions that Oregon faces this summer, Governor Brown's office has created a website for more information,, and launched the “#ORdrought” campaign. State agencies are using the website and the hashtag #ORdrought to keep Oregonians informed and prepared to adapt to drought conditions.

READ: Executive Order on Drought Emergency,


Melissa Navas
Chris Pair
Kristen Grainger
Natural Disasters