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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday asked state residents to voluntarily reduce household water usage by 15% due to worsening drought conditions.

State of play: Newsom is yet to issue a California-wide state of emergency or mandate any water use restrictions. However, on Thursday, he expanded his regional drought state of emergency to apply to 50 of the state's 58 counties, which includes about 42% of the population, Newsom said.

  • Newsom encouraged residents to take shorter showers, run dishwashers only when completely full and refrain from watering lawns.

By the numbers: As of late June, 33% of the state was under 'exceptional' drought conditions, the most severe classification by the Energy Information Administration, Axios' Ben Geman writes.

What they're saying: "We’re hopeful that people will take that mindset they brought into the last drought and extend that forward with a 15%, voluntary reduction, not only on residences, but industrial commercial operations and agricultural operation," Newsom said.

Go deeper: Tallying the Western drought's toll on California hydropower

Go deeper

California Democrats move to overhaul recall rules

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a news conference in Oakland, California, on Wednesday. Photo: Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

California Democrats announced plans Wednesday to change the state's recall election rules, a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom defeated a Republican-backed effort to remove him.

Why it matters: The Democratic governor received 63.9% of the vote to stave off the challenge. State Democratic Assemblymember Marc Berman, who's helping lead the drive to overhaul the process, said in a statement that "a small minority of voters" shouldn't be able "to initiate a costly recall that wastes $276 million."

"Justice for J6" rally underway with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: U.S. Capitol Police officers at approximately 12:40 p.m. arrested a man with a knife for a weapons violation, the agency wrote in a tweet.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.