OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a statewide drought emergency because of poor water supply conditions and hot, dry conditions that have plagued the region. The cities of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett areas are not included in the declaration, with the governor’s office saying that those areas have enough water storage to get through the summer. A drought emergency declaration is issued when water supply is projected to be below 75% of average, and poses a risk to water users. The declaration allows expedited emergency water right permitting and allows the state to address drought hardships by aiding state agriculture, protecting public water supplies and boosting stream flows to safeguard fish.

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