17 January 2014 Last updated at 19:08 ET
Governor Jerry Brown warned against the drought’s danger to make wildfires worse
The governor of California has declared a state-wide drought, urging residents to conserve water in what could be the state’s driest year on record.
The declaration by Governor Jerry Brown also means farmers will receive aid and more firefighters will be employed.
Mr Brown faced pressure to declare the drought as the state’s largest reservoirs are at record low levels.
The dry conditions have been blamed for a wildfire that destroyed five homes north-east of Los Angeles on Thursday.
In a press conference on Friday, Mr Brown called on residents to cut back “at least 20%” on their water usage but said the move was voluntary.
“We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens,” Mr Brown said in a statement.
Receding water lines can be seen on waterways and reservoirs across the state
He added the declaration was a way to focus Californians on how serious the drought conditions were.
“We are in a unprecedented, very serious situation that people should pause and reflect on how dependent we are on the rain, nature and one other,” he said on CNN.
Global Climate Change