- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has declared drought emergencies in two more counties - Baker and Wheeler - due to drought, low snowpack levels and low water conditions.

The governor’s action Monday brings to seven the number of counties where the state has declared a drought emergency so far this year. The other counties are Crook, Harney, Klamath, Malheur and Lake. In 2014, a total of nine counties were under drought emergencies.

The counties asked the state to take action, and the Oregon Drought Council considered the requests by weighing current water conditions, future forecasts and agricultural impacts. Drought continues to have significant impacts on agriculture, livestock and natural resources in each of the counties.

The governor’s declaration allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible. Brown is also working with Oregon’s federal delegation, state agencies and local governments to address drought issues.

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