The official declaration of the California Governor qualifies agriculture interests for federal programs. “The situation is dire and requires the full attention of state and federal leaders, which is why the declaration is so important” said Tom Nassif, Western Growers president and chief executive. This week, nominating counties in 11 states including California, with primary natural disaster areas, the US Department of Agriculture made farmers eligible to qualify for low-interest emergency loans from the department. The actual situation in California is comparable to the 1976 – 1977 drought season in this area. Brown urged voluntary water conservation uo to 20 percent. Even the possibility of drinking-water shortages is considered.