Wash. gov. issues drought emergency

March 12, 2005 at 1:38 AM

YAKIMA, Wash., March 12 (UPI) -- Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire has warned the state faces its worst drought in almost 30 years, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Gregoire declared a statewide emergency for conditions this summer, saying that scientists and state officials predict conditions will be as devastating as in the drought of 1977.

The declaration loosened environmental regulations to allow emergency water use, the Post-Intelligencer said, but Gregoire said it may not be enough.

"We're going to face a tough summer. And there is not going to be enough water to go around," Gregoire said.

"If we do everything we can do, we are not going to go without some (problems)."

However, the drought is expected to most affect manufacturers, river-rafting companies, salmon companies and orchid growers, groups that will not be helped by the emergency declaration.

It is predicted some farmers with water rights can expect to get just 18 percent of their normal water this year, the paper said.

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