Jack Sann | Mustang News

Amid a declaration of a local drought emergency, San Luis Obispo County Drought Task Force reported worsening agricultural conditions at a County Board of Supervisors meeting on May 17. The county coordinated drought monitoring, impact assessments, responses to emergency health and human safety, public communication and outreach. 

The meeting was a response to a decision made on July 13, 2021 declaring a local drought emergency.

On March 15, an update was given to the Board of Supervisors discussing the need to continue the local emergency proclamation.

The meetings are mandated by section 8630 of the California Government Code. This section states that the Board of Supervisors must meet at least every 60 days until the declared emergency is terminated, according to the meeting agenda.

The task force is composed of the County Office of Emergency Services, Public Works Department, County Fire, County Agricultural Commissioner, County Planning and Building, Farm Advisor, County Health Agency, Groundwater Sustainability and County Counsel. 

The latest drought monitor report for the county released on April 21 states that the drought has increased from moderate level to severe.

The drought impacts the agriculture sector of the county, causing significant declines in crops and livestock productivity due to water depletion. It also causes some dry land crop failures and pasture losses which has a direct economic impact.

Those working in the agriculture sector are encouraged to apply for low interest emergency loans, grants or other disaster assistance programs.