2014 Drought Watch

Three consecutive dry years have pushed California into a historic drought. Reservoirs are at half-capacity or less and dropping, groundwater basins and ecosystems are stressed, and wildfire risk is extremely high.

Nearly 60% of California is now in “exceptional drought,” the most severe on the U.S. Drought Monitor’s five-point scale. About 82% of the state is in “extreme drought,” while 96% is now in “severe drought.”

State and local agencies are taking a broad suite of actions to combat drought and assist areas in greatest need. Local water agencies througout California are calling for increased water conservation, with mandatory restrictions on water use and even rationing in place in some areas.

As of Nov. 18, at least 252 local water agencies have implemented some form of mandatory restrictions / conservation in response to the drought and emergency regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board in July.

The governor declared a drought emergency for the state Jan. 17, and issued a subsequent executive order on April 25 to strengthen the state’s ability to manage water effectively and urge Californians to redouble their water conservation efforts.

On July 15, the State Water Resources Control Board passed emergency regulations that prohibit certain outdoor water uses and require water agencies to file monthly reports on water use and production. Find the latest fact sheet on the state regulations here. 

Save Our Water -- a partnership between ACWA and the California Department of Water Resources -- is in high gear to reach out to consumers with information on reducing household water use, both indoors and outdoors. 

  • Read ACWA's California Drought Update here.

Local Agency Drought Response

Local water agencies across California are taking action in the face of record-dry conditions in early 2014.

The Brown Administration created an interagency Drought Task Force that has been meeting weekly to monitor conditions. Read more about the Drought Task Force here.

Drought Resources

Save Our Water Drought Portal

DWR Drought Portal

Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Drought Page

State Water Resources Control Board Drought Year Water Actions Page

Daily Reservoir Storage Summary

California Reservoir Conditions

California Weather Data

U.S. Drought Portal

Central Valley Project Water Supply Information

General information about California Water

Latest Posts about Water Supply Challenges

Record wildfires, shrinking reservoirs and brown lawns are signs of the times as California appears headed for a fourth year of drought.... read more»
Water agencies report a surge in interest in turf replacement and conservation rebate programs this summer as the drought continues. read more»
ACWA has released a report detailing specifc impacts of the drought around the state and underscoring the need for a variety of strategies... read more»

Latest News about Water Supply Challenges

In a move aimed at reducing risk to Delta smelt and potentially avoiding more severe water supply impacts later, operators of the State... read»
A new study sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests ocean temperature patterns may play a role in drought... read»
Despite receiving some runoff from last weekend’s rain showers, Lake Oroville has dipped to near-record lows set in 1977. The... read»
The State Water Resources Control Board today released first-ever monthly estimates of daily per capita water use by residential customers... read»
California’s record-breaking drought likely will persist in many parts of the state this winter and could intensify in some... read»