JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Jackson County Board of Commissioners are asking the governor to declare an emergency drought for the area. On Wednesday, the board took the first step to get help for agencies and individuals affected by the dry conditions by declaring an emergency drought for Jackson County.
The declaration will now move to the state to be reviewed and possible approved by Governor Kitzhaber on April 14. If the declaration is approved, it gives the county the opportunity to get federal funds to deal with the emergency drought conditions.
Though some farmers in the area like Jerry Mefford say they are not worried yet, they will be watching the drought conditions close.
“I don’t think it will be a problem right off the beginning of the year. Later on, it might have some effect on us, into September, October, depends on our water situation,” said Mefford.
Though some water agencies in the area are preparing for the drought, others, like the Medford Water Commission said they are not as worried.
We are less affected by drought than many entities. Our supplies aren’t as dependent upon a single year of precipitation as many,” said Medford Water Commission’s Laura Hodnett.
Water agencies in the area are urging people to use water carefully especially with the drought conditions.
If the state approves the declaration, the county will evaluate water need on a case-by-case basis beginning in mid-April.